Fine evening of mu­sic by Charn­wood Voices

Loughborough Echo - - LEISURE -

THE Charn­wood Voices’ Au­tumn Con­cert at Lough­bor­ough Parish Church at­tracted a very good turnout, and the au­di­ence were treated to a fine evening of mu­sic.

El­gar’s lyri­cal and pas­toral Ser­e­nade for Strings pro­vided an at­trac­tive cur­tain-raiser, and the al­ways-ex­cel­lent Or­ches­tra da Cam­era gave us a thought­ful and ex­pres­sive per­for­mance, es­pe­cially of the gor­geous slow move­ment. The cen­tre-piece of the evening was Fauré’s Re­quiem, with the or­ches­tra and the choir joined by Richard Dun­ster-Sigter­mans for the sig­nif­i­cant or­gan part and splen­did soloists Mau­reen Brath­waite and Si­mon Lumby.

This was a very sat­is­fy­ing and mov­ing per­for­mance of a work that is mostly serene rather than dra­matic, and as much a con­cert piece as a litur­gi­cal one. The choir was in fine voice, with no­tably clear dic­tion, and the bal­ance be­tween choir and or­ches­tra was ad­mirable.

Con­duc­tor Ni­cholas Scott-Burt di­rected ev­ery­thing with as­sur­ance and feel­ing, and the or­ches­tra leader’s vi­o­lin so­los am­ply jus­ti­fied the ap­plause he re­ceived at the end of the work (what a pity that the pro­gramme did not name him).

Af­ter the in­ter­val, a dra­matic change of mood! First we had the un­usual priv­i­lege of see­ing the con­duc­tor di­rect­ing his own com­po­si­tions – one move­ment from his Mag­ni­fi­cat, and four Pas­sion Dances, the lat­ter re­flect­ing four of the im­por­tant days in the Chris­tian cal­en­dar around Easter, with a chorale pre­ced­ing an or­ches­tral move­ment in each case.

There was much dra­matic and in­ter­est­ing mu­sic here from Dr Scott-Burt, with fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties for mem­bers of the or­ches­tra to demon­strate their solo mu­si­cian­ship.

To round off the evening in rous­ing style splen­did mezzo Cather­ine Grif­fiths joined the choir and or­ches­tra in John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit, based on AfricanAmer­i­can spir­i­tu­als. The en­joy­ment shared by all the per­form­ers was pal­pa­ble, and they gave us an up­lift­ing end to an ex­cel­lent oc­ca­sion.

By Jim Miller

Charn­wood Voices’ Au­tumn Con­cert at Lough­bor­ough Parish Church.

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