Really On Form
A concert by the Derby Bach Choir,
heard by MIKE WHEELER
Derby Bach Choir wrapped up its fiftieth anniversary celebrations with music by J S Bach himself (who else? -- Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 21 November 2009).
Cantata 140 -- Wachet Auf! -- got off to a slightly restrained start. There were some nicely crisp dotted rhythms in the opening chorus, but both this and the first soprano-bass duet had a rather 'best behaviour' feel to them. The performance really got into its stride in the second chorale verse, taken at a good swinging tempo. There was a nice buoyant feel to the second duet and a glowing warmth to the final chorale.
The cantata was followed by Parts 1, 3 and 6 of Bach's Christmas Oratorio. Here everyone was really on form, from the vibrant sound of the opening chorus onwards, though some chorus tenor leads seemed a bit under-powered. The chorales had a pretty much ideal balance of simplicity and expressive shaping, and the big opening and closing choruses to each part were nicely buoyant and lively.
Soprano Grace Davidson sounded fresh and eager in her Part 6 aria. Contralto Flora York Skinner was possibly a little too Verdian in her first number in Part One, but settled into a fine sense of style later. Tenor Mark Wilde was a persuasive Evangelist and Eamonn Dougan (bass) injected real zip and sparkle into his aria in Part One. The Orchestra of Musica Donum Dei contributed neat, stylish playing.
Copyright © 2 December 2009