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BCS - Concert Review
BCS Next Concert

Concert
Review

7.30pm
12 May 2012

Bath Abbey

In Concert

Extracts from the Bath Chronicle review of A Joyful Jubilee:

This royal feast of English music opened with a splendid brass fanfare, alongside the organ, which echoed around the abbey. And we all sang the National Anthem as loudly as possible to compete with the players - unsuccessfully. It was always an unequal struggle. And for the choir, too, in Walton's Jubilate Deo. It is a stirring setting, and the combination of brass, organ and voices makes a significant sound, dynamically very challenging. Bob Chilcott's setting of the same words for soprano solo, choir and brass includes a song by Gerard Manley Hopkins: it has lilting lyrical grace which is very attractive.

Bliss's Ceremonial Prelude, with brass, organ and tubular bell, was briskly despatched, followed by a beautiful Stainer anthem, Lord, Thou art God, for tenor solo, choir and organ... Jonathan Dove's strikingly original contemporary voice gave us Open to me the Gates, with a ringing trumpet opening. It includes the hymn Now Thank we all our God, in which we all joined, spurred on by the brass again. This is a challenging piece and the choir did very well, balanced and insightful. RVW's Mass in G Minor provided the Sanctus and Benedictus, quite complex in construction, skilfully handled by the choir, its subdued harmonies sung with sympathy and quiet understanding.

... The choir and soloists were all drawn from within and were very good too! Zadok the Priest by Handel, an honorary naturalised Englishman, saw us out, a rousing rendition in which the choir really hit top form, in this unashamedly popular anthem. It was a superb sound.

... Gavin Wells and the English Festival Brass were excellently and brazenly forward, and conductor Will Dawes handled it all with confident aplomb. A great night for music in this Jubilee year.

Bath Chronicle, 14 May 2012


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