Verdi's Requiem from Derby Bach Choir,
appreciated by MIKE WHEELER
Derby Bach Choir's fiftieth anniversary celebrations reached their climax on Saturday [27 June 2009, Derby Cathedral, UK] with a thrilling performance of Verdi's Requiem, co-incidentally (or not?) the work the choir sang when Richard Roddis made his début as its conductor ten years ago.
It's easy enough to make a big noise in movements like the Dies Irae, but the quietly intense passages left an equally profound impression. The choir sang with alertness and precision in the Introit and Kyrie, no less than in the fugues of the Sanctus and Libera Me. The Dies Irae was taken at a rather steadier tempo than usual, but this actually made it more exciting. The distant trumpets in the Tuba Mirum were placed, very effectively, at the west end of the Cathedral.
The excellent team of soloists comprised soprano Claire Seaton, magically floating her first entry in the Offertorium, the rich, dark contralto of Catherine Wyn-Rogers (the choir's President), authoritative in the Liber Scriptus (and their complete unanimity in the Recordare duet was flawless). Donald Maxwell Anderson's bright clear tenor combined both tenderness and ringing force in the Ingemisco, and bass Mario Solimene had the gravitas for a genuinely awestruck Mors Stupebit.
After the fiery energy of the Libera Me, the deliberate, weighty measuring out of the final bars felt exactly right.
Copyright © 4 July 2009
DERBY BACH CHOIR