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BCS - Concert Review
BCS Next Concert

Concert
Review

7.30pm
10 March 2012

Bath Abbey

In Concert

Extracts from the Bath Chronicle review of Monteverdi Vespers:

... There were some very fine features of this performance. The soloists were all superb, young and vibrant: Esther Brazil and Zoe Brown (sopranos), Matthew Long, Ben Thapa and John McMunn (tenors), William Gaunt and Ashley Riches (basses). The soprano duet Pulchra Es was ravishingly beautiful, graceful, lilting and clear as crystal and the tenor Nigra Sum was dramatic and expressive, the theorbo accompaniment softly sympathetic. The use of the Abbey space was very effective too, the antiphonal sound giving the right feeling of distance. The period instruments of The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble and The Monteverdi String Band were totally at one with the singers and the music: this was quality playing, supportive, yet unobtrusively excellent - and what a huge difference it makes.

The choir - now well over 100 singers - sang the opening Deus in Adjutorium without copies and it showed. This was a good full-bodied sound, firm and confident: and throughout, they handled the interplay with the soloists and the smaller group singing, especially the tenors and women's voices, with sensitivity and style. ... [In] the Sancta Maria and the Ave Maris Stella we heard some of the best singing of the evening: the soprano soloists processing down the central aisle, their voices ringing up into the Abbey roof: and the choir, with tenor solo, in resplendent voice. The final Magnificat ... brought the piece to its triumphant climax - a great paean of praise, the whole ensemble at full throttle, filling the Abbey with sound. Great music, timeless, and unforgettably thrilling, in a performance that new conductor Will Dawes will always remember.

Bath Chronicle, 12 March 2012


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