Poulenc Stabat Mater, Bruckner Motets & Bach at St Mark’s

“A really accomplished performance”

“An absolute triumph..”

“The night was utterly sublime!”

“We truly felt an angel had descended”

Click here for press release

The magnificent Victorian ‘Cathedral of the East End’, St Mark’s Church in Dalston, was packed to hear local community choir the Hackney Singers perform the beautiful Poulenc Stabat Mater together with some more well-known Bruckner motets, a Bach chorale, and solo organ and soprano pieces by Vierne and Widor.

The beautiful and impressive organ and the 100 strong choir, using the marvelous acoustic in the church, filled the enormous space with sound on Saturday 10 November.

Photos: Audrey Harding, Imogen Radford

Autumn Concert

St Mark’s Dalston

St Mark’s Rise E8

Sat 10th Nov 2007

Hackney Singers

Conductor Mark Shanahan

Soprano Helen Meyerhoff

Organist Andrew Storey

Poulenc: Stabat Mater

Bruckner: Motets

Bach, Widor, Vierne

J. S. Bach: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring

Widor: Toccata

Vierne: Carrillon de Westminster, Les Angélus

Download the programme text in 18pt type



Hugh and Christine McCormick said:  “This was a really accomplished performance by Hackney Singers. The choir gave a finely nuanced rendering of Poulenc’s complex, changing rhythms which so pitifully convey the anguish of Mary at the Cross. And with Helen Meyerhoff’s delicate, soaring soprano solo we truly felt an angel had descended on the scene.  We always enjoy our visits to Hackney for the Hackney Singers concerts but, for us, this was the most moving one so far.”

Basil Weekes, senior churchwarden at St Mark’s, said: “Very few people can do the organ justice, and tonight’s organist, Andrew Storey, did. I found it all beautiful, and especially the Bach hymn, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, which is my favourite.”

Audience member Jenny Douse said that she thought it was a nice programme. “The Poulenc was unusual and seemed quite a challenging piece to sing. I liked the Vierne songs, and I thought the concert was uplifting at the end.”

Clare Taylor said: “The night was utterly sublime! Your sound was wonderful, and the setting perfect… I arrived stressed and frazzled after a horrible day and left a completely different person after such a wonderful evening.”

Mary Todd, who had come up from Bristol to see the concert, said:  “It was great, particularly the Bruckner and Bach. I hadn’t heard the Poulenc before so I found that very interesting. I thought the choir looked very professional. Their presentation was very noticeable to us in the audience — they looked good, they behaved professionally, and their singing was lovely too.”

“Regular visitors to Hackney Singers’ concerts will realise that they have made a new departure, showing that they are not prepared to sit back and dwell on past glories but instead are developing and stretching their musical abilities. All of us, the choir and the musical team, felt that the Poulenc Stabat Mater was a challenge, but everyone felt it was a challenge worthy of taking because of the beauty of the piece.”  Mark Shanahan, conductor

“I love the Poulenc, I think it’s heaven, and I’d sing it every day if I could. It’s very unusual to have the opportunity to sing this music, and both the Poulenc and the Vierne pieces are exquisite.” Helen Meyerhoff, Soprano

“The choir was fabulous in the Poulenc, it was an absolute triumph, especially considering how hard the piece is to sing”. Andrew Storey

“There was a real buzz after the Poulenc. It’s such a tragic but also inspiring piece. And I was really moved by the music, especially by Vierne’s French songs.” Dan Ludford-Thomas, associate conductor, who sang with the chorus