Fine evening of music by Charnwood Voices
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.