Buoyancy and Lyricism
Derby Cathedral Choir celebrates
four composer anniversaries,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER
Derby Cathedral Choir, conducted by Peter Gould, were joined by the Heart of England Orchestra as they celebrated this year's four major composer anniversaries in style (Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 3 October 2009).
After a slightly cautious Arrival of the Queen of Sheba the choir brought a fine sense of urgency to Mendelssohn's Hear my Prayer, George Stevenson projecting the treble solo with remarkable confidence and ringing tone. In Purcell's Rejoice in the Lord alway there was a fine blend of buoyancy and lyricism, and the contrast between stormy vigour and calm in Haydn's Insanae et Vanae Curae was vividly projected.
Between the two, Organ Scholar Ben Bloor (who next year takes up the post of Organ Scholar at New College, Oxford) gave a performance of Handel's Organ Concerto Op 4 No 1 notable particularly for sparkle and clarity in the quick second movement.
In the second part of the concert, the girl choristers took over from the boys for Handel's Dixit Dominus. While all the soloists were assured, special mention must be made of the poise and serenity Anna Gould and Catherine Hall brought to the soprano duet 'De Torrente in Via'. Not every movement hit the ground running -- the final fugue, 'Et in secula seculorum', in particular, took a little while to settle -- but this was a committed performance, brimming with energy.
All the singers then came together to end the evening with a rousing performance of Zadok the Priest.
Copyright © 10 October 2009