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In Part II the oboe once again took centre stage for 'Et in spiritum sanctum', accompanying the baritone William Townend, who sang well even if his words were occasionally harder to hear.

Bach's bristling Sanctus, as always, thrilled; the Benedictus, abetted by Stewart's sensitive and restrained gesture, made a deeply touching moment; and both choir and orchestra gave their all to the final chorus of the Agnus Dei, 'Dona nobis pacem' producing a wonderful, finely focused effect.

All forces melded well together throughout the performance, and at no time did the orchestra drown the choir or soloists. Only at the end did the members of the orchestra finally allow themselves to let their hair down, serving up a triumphant finale with the brass section giving their all.

'Bach's music is the most stupendous miracle in all music'; so said Wagner. On this fine showing, many of the audience at this Tudeley performance would surely agree.

Copyright © 5 March 2005 Pippa Hare, Kent UK

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This event on 30 January 2005 raised more than 6,500 pounds for Kent's Hospice in the Weald: the largest amount Tudeley has ever succeeded in raising at a single concert. Recently Tudeley also raised a further 1,750 pounds for Iva Lokajickova, a Czech student on a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, to help purchase two recorders. Over the years the festival has raised some 150,000 pounds for charity.

The Saloman Quartet plays Haydn's Seven Last Words at All Saints, Tudeley, Kent, UK on Saturday 26 March 2005 at 8pm. During 2006 the Tudeley Festival will give its 200th concert.

THE TUDELEY FESTIVAL

TONBRIDGE SCHOOL

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