Rossini, Poulenc and Saint-Saëns from
Nottingham Harmonic Choir and the Hallé Orchestra,
heard by MIKE WHEELER
Poulenc's Stravinskian credentials are all over his Gloria, but it remains quintessential Poulenc, with one foot in Notre Dame and the other on the Champs-Elysées. It's a balancing act that the Hallé Orchestra and Nottingham Harmonic Choir didn't always succeed in bringing off — Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK, 5 May 2018 — but the choir produced a good punchy sound when it mattered, as well as a compelling sudden hush in the chant-like stillness of 'Gratias agimus tibi', and a cleanly focused unison at the start of 'Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris'.
For its part, the orchestra, under conductor Jonathon Heyward, brought out the felicities of Poulenc's scoring, whether the friskiness of naughty-boy moments like the two-trombone hocketing at the start of the 'Laudamus Te', the Prokofiev-like ticking that underlies the 'Domine Deus', or those Stravinsky-like sharp edges...
Copyright © 15 May 2018