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The Sound of Choral Music
Louth Choral Society entertained an appreciative audience at St. James's Church on Sunday evening to the sounds of Mozart and Haydn. The evening sun was setting, and illuminated the recently restored stained glass window, as the numerous singers of this excellent society smartly took their places, along with the members of the Eastern Sinfonia.
The programme opened with the well-known ‘Ave Verum’, and showed a warm tone, good dynamics, and a controlled rhythmic performance. The blend between voice and instruments was rewarding. The main item in the first half was the Mozart ‘Vesperae Solennes de Confessore’ ( solemn vespers), a six movement work designed to show the talents of the four vocal soloists, Lucy Goddard, Rachael Robinson, Andrew Wickens and Keith Halliday, working in harmony with the choral society. The music is challenging and the choir had worked hard under the direction of their Conductor Martin Pickering to establish a good range of dynamics.
After the interval the choir took a well earned break while the orchestra performed Mozarts Divertimento K522- a musical joke. Martin gave a valuable insight into this music, and then the strings and horns performed the four movements. The first movement is quite melodic, showing why the horn is the most versatile and important instrument in an orchestra ! The second movement highlights brass players love of beer, where a countermelody bears no relationship to anything else being played!!. The third section is equally bizarre where the solo violin plays an out of character whole tone scale- if this is Mozart’s idea of a joke, well, keep eating the strudel! The final movement is known to all equestrian lovers, and was played with a passion and confidence.
The final rendition of the evening was the ‘Missa Sancti Nicolai’ by Haydn. Some lovely vocal solo passages were evident here, and the power of the choir was highlighted.
The choir deserve credit for a quality sound and attempting difficult music, and Martin is doing a magnificent job here Well Done !!
This review was kindly provided by Graham Burrell.