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Delightful music-making

A concert by the Sitwell Singers,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER


Derby-based chamber choir The Sitwell Singers are never content to stick to the safe and familiar when assembling their Christmas programmes (St John's Church, Bridge Street, Derby, 12 December 2005), something for which this reviewer, at least, is profoundly grateful.

The mainly Renaissance motets in the first half were typical of the lovely, well-balanced and smooth-toned singing the Sitwells produce at their best, as was Bruckner's Virga Jesse. Boris Ord's well-loved Adam lay ybounden got rather steadier, more thoughtful treatment than usual, to its advantage. In the second half, Kenneth Leighton's Lully, lulla was given a beautifully expressive performance.

The more vigorous numbers were treated with spirit; these included the Spanish carol Riu, riu, chiu which has become such a firm favourite in recent years, and Andrew Carter's Spanish Carol, though here soprano top notes did not always hit the target squarely in the middle.

Some delightful music-making, though the presentation could have been slicker.

Copyright © 26 December 2005 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK



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