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<<  -- 3 --  Rex Harley    IMAGINATIVE AND AMBITIOUS

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Which leaves the choir. One look at their faces showed how much they were enjoying themselves. Their singing was focused and clear. Strong too. And they dealt deftly with Purcell's rapid-fire entrances; one, in which the word 'none' gets thrown around in a way reminiscent of some of the composer's more bawdy catches, verged on perpetual motion! The final, triumphant, apotheosis, after much drumming, of 'the city and county of York', was also their triumph. I genuinely can't imagine a more enjoyable, or spirited, performance of this neglected piece.

In passing, I have to say that the programme notes were among the best I've encountered for any concert: lucid, informative, scholarly without being dull and accessible without being patronising. There are professional outfits, with full-time employees, who could learn a lesson here.

Members of the Crickhowell Choral Society sing Purcell's 'King Arthur' in the May 2003 Crickhowell Festival. Photo © 2003 Louise Stickland
Members of the Crickhowell Choral Society sing Purcell's 'King Arthur' in the May 2003 Crickhowell Festival. Photo © 2003 Louise Stickland

My one regret was that I was unable to return the following evening to hear Handel's Ode for St Cecilia's Day and Mozart's Mass in C Minor K247. Now, at least, the Crickhowell Festival is on my calendar so things should be different next year. By then it's also highly likely that they will have their own website, so keep your eyes open!

Copyright © 8 May 2005 Rex Harley, Cardiff UK

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