<< -- 2 -- Rosie and Nick Evelegh A THRILLING PERFORMANCE
Richard Cooke's singers served up a thrilling performance from start to finish. The cathedral was full, the atmosphere and resonance superb, the chorus staging carefully constructed with good sightlines, the vast orchestra well accommodated. And there was added excitement in that this was the first time Elgar's Apostles, which the composer himself once conducted in the very same nave at Canterbury Cathedral, was being recorded live (by Chris Craker, of Sanctuary Classics) for a forthcoming commercial recording.
The orchestra was the Philharmonia, one of those large ensembles with which Richard Cooke enjoys close connections. They played for him magnificently, on the whole highly responsive to the performers, although from time to time -- with Robert Rice's Judas occasionally, and also with Mary Magdalen -- the orchestra slightly swamped the soloists at the cost of word-clarity.
The chorus shone. There is a superb discipline to this large choir; not all, but nearly all, the leads were prompt and sung with conviction. The women's chorus 'Angels at the Sepulchre' really was angelic. The last chorus, with its resplendent alleluia, filled the cathedral with a rich, and overwhelming, wash of sound.
Copyright © 3 March 2005
Rosie and Nick Evelegh, Kent UK