Annie Rimmer: ‘When David Heard’

Now the weather has finally warmed up, LCS are looking ahead to our summer concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday the 10th of July.

Our theme is Transatlantic Rhapsodies and we feature music from British composer Jonathan Dove and American composer Eric Whitacre, as well as works by James Lark, Randall Thompson and George Gershwin.

Whitacre’s When David Heard is a particular favourite of LCS soprano Annie Rimmer, and below is a piece she has written about her connection to this haunting composition:
“I first heard When David Heard about ten years ago. It touched me and spoke to me of grief and shock like nothing ever had. I am a therapist and am called upon sometimes to accompany people into their grief and loss.

I know it to be a terrible journey, involving heartbroken despair, rage, terror and excoriating pain.

This piece seemed to me to describe so much of this. The quiet, sparse, fragmented syllables and notes of bewilderment where nothing makes sense anymore.

The building of the tension, the dissonance, the agony, growing and intensifying until it is all but unbearable – until the heart feels as if it will burst, and then the relief of the longed for resolution where this wave of pain and grief calms again.

It comes in waves: it is sometimes quiet and inward, but then a sudden violent explosive shriek of agony comes forth.

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I had always wanted to sing this work but when LCS sang it in 2013 I had left the choir – not knowing then that I could learn the music by heart. I am now so glad that I heard LCS sing it first.

The concert took place a little while after my only sibling, my lovely sister Cathy – who travelled 200 miles to hear LCS several times, had died. I sat in the audience letting your voices enter my head and my heart and body, to mingle with my own loss.

It was painful but healing to have my grief met in such a beautiful and meaningful way.

I look forward to singing it as a choir member this summer, but will never forget the time I experienced LCS perform this wonderful work which spoke to me so personally.”

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Tickets for Transatlantic Rhapsodies are now available from the Southbank Centre, click here to purchase.

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