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Ensemble

Tremendous Gusto

The Derby Bach Choir
joins the 'Sing Hallelujah' project,
reported by MIKE WHEELER

 

As part of its Handel 250th anniversary celebrations BBC Radio 3 has been running its 'Sing Hallelujah' project, encouraging regular choir members and non-singers alike throughout the country to join in local performances of the 'Hallelujah' chorus from Messiah.

Derby Bach Choir's contribution came as part of its Derby Cathedral Christmas concert (Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 5 December 2009). This was framed by Part 1 of Handel's oratorio, plus 'The Trumpet Shall Sound' and the chorus in question.

After a somewhat cautious reading of the opening Sinfony, the performance steadily gathered pace, with crisply articulated choruses (apart from some slightly unfocused runs in 'For Unto us a Child is Born'), including a wonderfully exuberant swing to the rhythms in 'O Thou that Tellest'.

Caroline Palmer contributed a sparkling, agile 'Rejoice Greatly', counter-tenor Ben Lamb was bright and clear in the upper part of his range, though lower notes were a bit underpowered. Richard Roddis himself sang 'Ev'ry Valley' with a nice sense of eagerness, and Jeremy Leaman was authoritative and sonorous in his numbers. At the end everyone joined in 'Hallelujah' with tremendous gusto.

Nested inside Messiah and straddling the interval was Hosanna Rock, a children's nativity cantata by Sheila Wilson, sung with obvious enjoyment by Portway Junior School Choir.

Copyright © 11 December 2009 Mike Wheeler,
Derby UK

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DERBY BACH CHOIR

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL

MESSIAH

BBC RADIO 3

DERBY CATHEDRAL

DERBY

CHORAL MUSIC

UNITED KINGDOM

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