Jonathan Dove wrote There Was a Child as a tribute to a friend’s son who died tragically young. Filled with both joyous celebration and heartfelt emotion, it’s a big, warm-hearted modern masterpiece in the spirit of Britten and vaughan Williams – following in an evergreen english tradition and featuring the combined forces of the CBSO and CBSO Chorus, Youth Chorus and Junior Chorus with soloists Joan Rodgers and Toby Spence.
[Dove] has thus achieved the near-impossible: a work that commemorates an event which is surely every parent’s darkest fear but which at the same time truly and positively fulfils the commissioner’s brief, ‘to celebrate’ this young, short life – International Record Review
Joyous, vibrant, passionate … There Was a Child is a major addition to the choral repertoire – Financial Times
Dove’s adroit choice of poetry, orchestrated with imagination and humour, provides an endearing story of a boy through to adolescence, and although there is pathos it is never mawkish – Choir & Organ