John Featherstone

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The Te Deum :

Innovative in its juxtaposition of styles, this trilingual classical-jazz-gospel setting by of the beautiful ancient prayer of the Te Deum combines 3 contrasting vocal ensembles singing in English, French and Latin, accompanied by piano, percussion, double bass and saxopone. With its seamlessly connected musical diversity, the composition engages a broad public in an exciting journey of spiritual and cultural discovery around a text which combines praise of the Creator God with recognition of our human frailty. The work lasts around an hour, in 12 movements.

The text - Introduction to the work

Next concert,  18 October 2019, Théâtre de Fontenay le Fleury, near Versailles              

The recording

Features the award-winning Bath Camerata : the English and French jazz-gospel vocalists and musicians include members of Swingles, Get Gospel, Kingdom Choir and regulars at Ronnie Scott’s, instrumental arranger and pianist Dave Leonard Cooke, percussionist Pedro Segundo, double-bass player Tom Walley and saxophonist Pete Long.

Distributed by Bayard Musique and Pias (Harmonia Mundi distribution)

Concert performances

2017 Sevenoaks Festival, and Temple du Saint Esprit, Paris, with Bath Camerata and members of the above

2018 Paris Temple de l'Etoile with  le choeur de Grenelle

Strasbourg Temple Neuf and Mulhouse Temple Saint-Etienne with l'ensemble Lux Aeterna

The classical ensembles are joined by the jazz-gospel singers coming from Paris and London.

Performance is either with a choir and 2 jazz-gospel vocal quartets, or with 3 vocal quartets. At all times accompaniment is on piano, percussion, bass and sax;  and 4 musicians.

We would also love to work with semi-professional local choirs, bringing in the musicians and other singers necessary to collaborate with them.

'The audience reaction says all you need to know about the performances: this is a work that speaks to people and engages them. I’m certain it has a long future and will continue to bring audiences to their feet.'  Benjamin Goodson

Audience reactions

 

A 'chef d'oeuvre'.  The performers were fully engaged; not exterior to the work, but immersed in it. A real feast.  (Michel Wackenheim, archdeacon of Strasbourg Cathedral)

An atomic bomb! The harmonies, hard to describe, touch the depths of the soul, suspended in time. I have no words to describe the feelings and the impact on my life. In instrument of resurrection. Thank you.

 

Transcendent – crafted in gold – a musical description of heaven – between heaven and earth – dazzling.

 

I had no idea what to expect, but I didn’t expect this!  Tonight, the complementarity of styles showed me that difference of tradition doesn't need to be a source of suffering – we can live our diversity harmoniously.

 

Press:

‘A free universe without barriers’ Réforme – ‘‘A delicately worked, thoughtful piece’ La Croix – ‘Ma-gi-stral. A diversity which explodes in every domain… musical, devotional, atmospheric, temporal… a reconciliation of styles, traditions, history and modernity.’ Regards Protestants – ‘An explosively successful gamble’ Chantons en église – ‘Colossal’ Paul & Séphora ‘A manifestly worshipful and passionate work’ – Church Times ‘A work of brilliance and depth ’ Christ Seul

Read fuller reviews here

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