Glorious music, top class musicians
South Bucks Choral Society and Amersham Festival Chamber Orchestra performed a Winter Concert at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth on Saturday November 21. KAY JOHNSON reviews the concert
ON an extremely cold and windy evening – at least the snow had gone – we made our way to The Chapel, Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth, for the Winter Concert of the South Bucks Choral Society and Amersham Festival Chamber Orchestra, leader Charlotte Edwards and their inspirational Conductor Iain Ledingham.
The first half of the concert was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C, from the opening bars of the Adagio molto; Allegro con brio – which in fact starts in the wrong key – Beethoven wanted his audience to sit up and take notice; well we all did sit up and take notice.
From those opening 20 or so bars in the wrong key to the final movement Adagio; Allegro molto e vivace Iain Ledingham and the Amersham Festival Orchestra took us through some of Beethoven’s most glorious music, and to say we were all enthralled would be an understatement, needless to say the hall erupted into rapturous applause.
What a fantastic first half, everyone went into the interval brimming with the pleasure of being able to hear such glorious music from top class musicians and soloists, on our doorstep and at such ridiculously low prices. The second half consisted of Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, op 86.
Originally commissioned by Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy 11 on the occasion of his wife’s birthday, this was an annual event and for the previous six years Haydn had done the honours.
Big shoes to fill and according to all accounts not that well received by the Prince, however, no such worries on this occasion as the Amersham Festival Chamber Orchestra with their conductor Iain Ledingham and soloists – Soprano Harriet Eyley, Mezzo-Soprano Laura Zigmantaite, Tenor Wagner Moreria and Bass Richard Walshe certainly did us proud taking us from the opening ‘Kyrie’ through to the closing ‘Angus Dei’ with such feeling that as the last note faded the hall erupted once again into the most wonderful applause for such a superb rendition of this work. Smiles all round from musicians, chorus and soloists who obviously enjoyed the performance as much as we the audience.
Thank you all concerned for such a wonderful evening of music which more than made up for the cold winter weather outside, we left with a much lighter heart and step, the music still resounding in our ears. The next concert of the Amersham Festival Chamber Orchestra will be held at Amersham Free Church, on December 4.
The next concert of the South Bucks Choral society – Brahms ‘Requiem’ and Strauss ‘Last Four Song’ will be held at The Barbarolli Hall, St. Clement Danes School, Chorleywood, on April 30.
And do not forget the Christmas Music and Carols held at St. Mary’s Church Amersham on December 19.
For South Buck Choral Society tickets contact Steve Wilcock on 01494 722 122.