Mozart - Requiem & Matthew King - Out of the Depths

I performed (on modern trumpet) with the Meridian Sinfonia, who accompanied the North London Chorus, conducted by Murray Hipkin. The ensemble performed music by Mozart and Matthew King (the latter was present at the performance) at St. James’s Church, Muswell Hill on Saturday 17th of June 2017 (incidentally, my 29th birthday). The soloists were: Lucy Knight (soprano), Martha Jones (mezzo-soprano), Elgan Llyr Thomas (tenor) and Timothy Connor (baritone).

Mozart's 'Requiem' filled the first half of the concert. The second half began with a moving performance of Mozart's 'Exultate Jubilate', performed by soprano Sally Silver. Matthew King's 'Out of the Depths' followed, it featured fantastically intricate orchestration and the choir communicated the words and meaning of the text.

I couldn't attempt to communicate the brilliance of the programming any better than this extract from the concert programme, by Paul Filmer:

"The second concert of our 40th Anniversary Season sees the second performance of our 2012 commission, Matthew King’s 'Out of the Depths', setting texts selected from Oscar Wilde’s 'De Profundis', the posthumously published prose apologia he wrote in Reading Gaol following his 1895 conviction for gross indecency. King interweaves music and text with dramatic ingenuity in a series of movements which evoke the dehumanising boredom and humiliating degradation of prison life. The commission was in memory of Bill Brown, one of our basses who died suddenly in 2009, with generous support from his widow, Helen. A lawyer by profession, Bill was also a dedicated and effective supporter of prison reform. This year’s performance of 'Out of the Depths' coincides appropriately with the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in this country, when the passing of the Police and Crime Act 2017 will mean that Wilde, among some 50,000 others, will receive a posthumous pardon.

Like Wilde’s 'De Profundis', Mozart’s 'Requiem' was published posthumously. It was incomplete when he died but has since become one of the most popular choral works of all time in the completion by his pupil Franz Süssmayr that will be sung this evening. Intrigue surrounds the circumstances of its composition and continues to lend it an engagingly mysterious air – not least Mozart’s alleged conviction that he was writing it for his own death. More significantly, however, it indicates powerfully one direction his music would have taken had his life not been cut so tragically short."

Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.