Have choir – will travel!
Almost from the very beginning Fiori have had a choir.
Renowned for clarity and purity of voice, the Fiori choir (usually around 20-25) began tentatively in 1984 with Handel’s Messiah. Since then, there have been CDs, including Purcell’s ode Hail! Bright Cecilia, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, and a first British recording of the Requiem in C minor by baroque composer JD Zelenka.
Fiori’s choir sings everything from mainstream Haydn and Schubert to erotic madrigals by Gesualdo. Director Penelope Rapson challenges with unusual repertoire, sometimes including idiosyncratic pronunciation – the Zelenka recording for instance called for abstruse Viennese-style Latin, with Czech inflections!
Then there was music by the 16th Czech composer Turnovsky – never before performed in the UK, not to mention Venetian works by 16th-century Flemish born Willaert.
After a standing ovation for Tallis’ magnificent 40-part Spem in Alium in an isolated redundant church somewhere in Warwickshire, one audience member confided afterwards, “That was amazing – I think I’ve just been to heaven and back.”
Choir members come principally from around Oxford – professional people, students, and people associated with university life. And there is no note bashing! (no passengers either, and absolutely no vibrato – cardinal sin #1 as far as director Penelope Rapson is concerned.)
Fiori’s efficient rehearsals – generally no more than two for any given programme – are musically and intellectually stimulating. The ethos is that every member makes a unique musical contribution (often with some pertinent point of view, too! which all adds to the fun.)
Fiori Village Choir
More recently, we have also created the Fiori Village Choir – particularly for community events such as weddings, funerals, carol-singing, etc. Entry criteria are not so stringent, and this choir is an excellent training ground for those with less experience or wanting to singing more regularly – the Fiori Village Choir meets informally at Preston Capes most Thursday evenings.
"The choir was exquisite. Please pass on my own thanks and those of the family."
"We have had many comments of praise for the music and choir."
"I will always pass on your details with the highest possible recommendation."