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BCS - Concert Review
BCS Next Concert

Concert
Review

7.30pm
20 October 2012

Bath Abbey

In Concert

Extracts from the Bath Chronicle review of The Seasons:

...The story is told by Simon the farmer splendidly sung by bass Alex Ashworth, robust and full bodied; soprano Elizabeth Weisberg as his daughter Jane, her ringing powerful soprano reaching every corner of the Abbey's big space; and tenor John McMunn as her boyfriend Luke, polished and assured at the top of the range. A fine trio of soloists, complemented by the chorus of country boys and girls who were on excellent form.

...We had an admirably paced transition from the colourful spring opening, saying good-bye to winter, graceful and lively, with a fine bass aria and finishing with a brass fanfare accompanying a robust chorus, heralding the approach of summer.

Autumn starts with an orchestral opening, celebrating the harvest...before an energetic hunting scene, stridently announced by some magnificent brass. It is a real choral extravaganza, sung with great gusto and zest by the choir in full sail. It was a great sound admirably matched by the orchestra, giving perhaps the best balance of the evening between players and singers.

Come winter, come the fog and a little bit of by-play between a randy squire, given his marching orders by a knowing country girl, before the final choral conclusion brings the work to a resplendent close, full of faith and hope.

It was a performance distinguished above all by a quite admirable sense of structure, enhanced by a completely seamless fusion of soloists, choir and orchestra. Each has a distinctive part to play, yet the integration of the three achieved by conductor Will Dawes provided a balance which ensured that the sense of unity was preserved. His feel for tempo, and the need to keep his forces moving inexorably forward, produced a most satisfying integral performance.

Bath Chronicle, 22 October 2012


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