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Coventry Cathedral review: Ghosts in the Ruins

BARBARA GOULDEN on an unforgettable musical event.

Ghosts in the Ruins, Coventry Cathedral, tonight (Jan 28) and tomorrow (Jan 29).

Proud images of Coventry's past and present accompanied the premiere of Ghosts InThe Ruins, the new choral work specially commissioned to mark the 60th anniversary of the city's cathedral.

Back in 1962, no less a composer than Benjamin Britten composed music for the official opening. For 2022 the City of Culture Trust along with Coventry Cathedral invited multi-award-winning musician Nitin Sawhney to match this with his own composition to be performed by four different choirs.

Sawhney - who grew up listening to Indian music - along with Cuban, flamenco and Led Zeppelin - produced a powerful and atmospheric score with a nod to mediaevilism.

Last night (Jan 27), he invited violinist Eos Counsell and soloist Amy Holford to lead the choirs who sang first inside the packed cathedral and then outside amid the ruins.

The performances came from the Spires Music Choir, the Cathedral's own senior and junior choirs and the relatively new Choir With No Name, made up of people who have experienced homelessness.

Among the poems read aloud was one by Coventry's Poet Laureate, Emilie Lauren Jones, and another by young poet Hawwa Hussain.

The backdrops of huge images of the city during the Second Word War, of its regeneration following the bombing and immediate mission for reconciliation - even the building of the ring road - will provoke memories for many.

Altogether, not an evening to forget in a hurry.

City of Culture information at:

Photo: fivesix photography


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