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Fizzing with Energy

The Sitwell Singers celebrate a 40th anniversary,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER


Derby-based chamber choir The Sitwell Singers celebrated its 40th anniversary with a concert of 17th century Venetian music [Saturday 24 June 2006, Derby Cathedral, UK], for which they were joined by the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, members of the Monteverdi String Band and a fine team of young solo singers.

There was much to enjoy, particularly in the second half, ending with a sonorous and lively performance of Monteverdi's Beatus Vir. Ave Maris Stella, from his 1610 Vespers, was eloquently shaped, as was his Cantate Domino.

Some of the earlier items lacked the Sitwells' customary sparkle, with patches of unfocussed tone in Gabrieli's Timor et Tremor, and a reading of the same composer's In Ecclesiis which didn't really generate the necessary sense of growing excitement.

The instrumental items were played with great panache; Monteverdi's Sonata Sopra Sancta Maria fizzed with energy, and there was a lively sense of dialogue between the two groups in Gabrieli's Sonata Pian' e Forte. Cornett soloist Fiona Russell played Bassano's diminutions on Cipriano de Rore's madrigal Anchor Che Col Partir with elegant phrasing, and the two solo sopranos, Katy Cooper and Tara Overend, gave a delightfully fresh, airy account of Monteverdi's Ut Queant Laxis.

Copyright © 1 July 2006 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK





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