St Barnabas Ealing, London W5

  • Saturday 11 May 2019 7.30pm

One of the pieces receiving its UK premiere is I would rather die than hate you, commissioned last year by the University of California Berkeley Alumni Chorus, with these words by Martin Luther King:

... hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and go on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love… Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love… So this morning, as I look into your eyes, and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you, “I love you. I would rather die than hate you”.

Also being heard for the first time in concert is the bilingual love-song Quanto sei bella, setting words from the Song of Songs, simultaneously in Italian and in English. Other sacred pieces include The Finchley Service, The Lord my pasture shall prepare, and God be in my head.

From Paul’s work in the area of musical theatre and opera is an excerpt from The Crab That Played With The Sea, based on Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.

There are choral versions of the beautiful songs Bless This House, Cry me a River and Goin’ Home, while the 70s and 80s are represented by arrangements of Waterloo (ABBA) and Nothing’s gonna stop us now (Starship). For fans of public transport, we have The Slow Train and Transport of Delight (Flanders & Swann) and Jay Foreman and Jon Gracey’s youtube hit Every Tube Station (whose lyrics are… well, every tube station).

The two choirs will be alternately conducted or accompanied by Jane Hopkins and Paul Ayres. And, while the singers have a breather, Jane and Paul perform a piano duet: Mostly Bach’s Toccata and Fugue. This is Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor. But not quite.


St Barnabas Ealing, London W5