An Evening With Alexander Armstrong
An Evening with Alexander Armstrong
Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth
Thursday 7 June 2018
After two Top 10 albums – A Year of Songs (2015) and Upon A Different Shore (2016) – Alexander Armstrong will release his first Christmas album In A Winter Light on November 24th.
Having spent years performing in choirs, Armstrong’s beloved musical heritage is on full, glorious display on In A Winter Light. Recorded with the City of Prague Orchestra, abetted by the Choir of New College, Oxford, the RAF Squadronaires big band and Jools Holland, it’s the rich, enveloping sound of a gifted baritone pursuing the range of his seasonal and musical passions.
The songs were scored and arranged by the husband and wife team of James and Juliette Morgan Pochin. James was Armstrong’s organ scholar at Trinity College Cambridge, while Juliette was an alto in the choir at the same time. It’s a fitting and inspired collaboration: the trio’s long connections and shared eclecticism help cohere this classically coloured, elegantly wrapped festive selection box.
Armstrong’s seasonal playlist takes us carefully around his many loves. The judicious song selection ranges from neo-folkies Fleet Foxes’ White Winter Hymnal to revered early 20th century church composer Herbert Howells’ A Spotless Rose. We move seamlessly from the wintry paganism of the Middle Ages (‘There Is No Rose’) to the cocktail cheer of the Fifties (‘Winter Wonderland’). Nina Simone (‘Little Girl Blue’) clinks a glass with Bing Crosby (‘Let It Snow’). And, finally, you can barely hear the distance between a brace of 19th century hymnal wonders (‘O Holy Night’, ‘Bethlehem Down’, ‘Silent Night’) and a pair of fresh-off-the page compositions written by Armstrong himself.
Under 14's must be with an adult over 18