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Commitment and Energy

Derby Cathedral Choir sings Mozart,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER


Derby Cathedral Choir's collective ability to rise to an occasion never ceases to impress, and this mainly Mozart programme (Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 23 September 2006) was no exception.

Conductor Peter Gould directed a performance of the Requiem that was both dramatically urgent and had intensity and concentration in the quieter moments. The power and vitality of the singing at the start of the Dies Irae, in particular, was exciting. Soprano Caroline Palmer, counter-tenor Vincenzo Scarafile, tenor Richard Roddis and bass Jeremy Leaman were a generally well-integrated group of soloists.

Caroline Palmer also contributed a gracefully-phrased solo to the 'Laudate Dominum' from the Solemn Vespers K339. The sensitivity of the choral contribution at the end was also evident in Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus. A bright, confident performance of Haydn's Te Deum of 1800 opened the evening.

The Heart of England Orchestra gave the singers rock-solid support, and also had the spotlight to themselves in Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, in which they brought a nicely flowing tempo to the second movement, but were rather earth-bound in the Minuet and the finale.

The choral balance was not always ideal -- the tenors tended to cut through a bit obtrusively on occasions -- and there was a moment of uncomfortable tuning towards the end of the Confutatis maledictis section of the Requiem. But these were mere blips in an often thrilling evening, to which everyone brought impressive commitment and energy.

Copyright © 26 September 2006 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK




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