The Derby Bach Choir begins
its 50th anniversary celebrations,
reported by MIKE WHEELER
Derby Bach Choir will be fifty years old in 2009. The celebrations began with an outstanding performance of J S Bach's B minor Mass (Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 22 November 2008).
There was no lack of grandeur when required -- the slow burn approach to the concluding Dona Nobis Pacem was particularly impressive -- but with conductor Richard Roddis setting some swift tempi the performance was generally light on its feet.
The choir generally did themselves and Bach proud, investing movements such as the opening of the Gloria and the Cum Sancto Spiritu section of the Credo with plenty of rhythmic bounce and jubilant energy. There was a shining clarity to the runs in Et in Terra Pax. Occasional moments when choir and orchestra were not quite unanimous, such as the change of tempo in the opening section of the Credo, quickly settled.
There was a uniformly excellent solo team -- soprano Rebecca Ryan, warm-toned and agile in Laudamus Te; counter-tenor William Purefoy, deeply thoughtful and poignant in the Agnus Dei; tenor Richard Edgar Wilson (replacing an indisposed Mark Wilde), graceful in the Benedictus, and bass Matthew Brooke, richly sonorous in Quoniam tu Solus Sanctus. The crisp and invigorating contributions from Musica Donum Dei Baroque Orchestra included some beautifully sensitive obbligato solos.
Copyright © 13 December 2008
Mike Wheeler, Derby UK