by Ben Hogwood
Yesterday we learned of the almost incomprehensible decision by the BBC that they were planning to close the BBC Singers. The choir is one of the leading ensembles of its type in the UK – if not the leading example – and have been responsible for many important premieres and landmark concerts over their 99-year existence.
Only in 2020 they were on stage as the Proms concerts returned, with a memorable performance of Eric Whitacre‘s Sleep, while if you want proof of their versatility from this year, watch this video of an arrangement of ABBA‘s Little Things:
The Spotify playlist below celebrates just some of the recordings made by the BBC Singers, in the hope that they will somehow be able to continue their invaluable service to British music. Included are shorter works by John McCabe, Sir Michael Tippett, Elizabeth Maconchy and Diana Burrell, alongside excerpts from Mozart’s Requiem, under Jane Glover, Janáček’s The Excursions Of Mr. Brouček, in a Proms performance under Jiří Bělohlávek, and the same forces at work in Smetana’s large scale opera Dalibor.
Finally the Singers can be heard in the striking Moth Requiem by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, which they premiered at the Proms in 2013.
If you do listen, please also make sure you sign the petition calling for the BBC to reconsider their decision,