A feast of heav­enly mu­sic

Manawatu Guardian - - STEPPING OUT -

The Palmer­ston North Choral Society pre­sented their fi­nal con­cert for 2018 last Satur­day night at St Peter’s Church.

As well as the large choir, the con­cert in­cluded a num­ber of soloists both in­stru­men­tal and vo­cal.

The con­cert opened with a harp solo from He­len Webby (pic­tured). He­len per­formed a sonata by Welsh com­poser John Parry, its three move­ments show­ing off dif­fer­ent moods with much ex­pres­sion.

The ma­jor­ity of the first half was taken up by the Choral Society’s per­for­mance of A Cer­e­mony of Car­ols. This set­ting of the Christ­mas story was com­posed by Ben­jamin Brit­ten, with some of its 11 move­ments sung in Latin and some in Mid­dle English. The choir ap­peared some­what ten­ta­tive, with some of the more ad­ven­tur­ous har­monies not al­ways se­cure. How­ever, the choir com­bined well with so­prano soloist Re­becca Wood­more in the lul­laby Balu­lalow. He­len Webby re­turned to ac­com­pany the choir on the harp, and closed out the first half with an­other solo.

The choir per­formed an­other ex­tended work in the sec­ond half — Karl Jenk­ins’ Stella Natalis. It was im­me­di­ately clear the choir was more con­fi­dent here, with a pow­er­ful read­ing of the open­ing move­ment Cele­bro. The com­poser gave the au­di­ence a sly wink in the third move­ment, with a song about a tri­an­gle be­ing per­formed in 5/4 time. The choir par­tic­u­larly en­joyed the fifth move­ment, Win­ter­tide, with its shiv­er­ing por­trayal of a very cold day in­deed.

The ever-re­li­able Jonathan Berkahn was at the or­gan for the sec­ond half, and trum­peter Clyde Dixon also fea­tured promi­nently. Clyde looked to be a lit­tle ner­vous dur­ing the first few move­ments, but there were some pow­er­ful dis­plays of his ob­vi­ous tech­ni­cal and ex­pres­sive skill to­wards the end of the half.

This was a brave pro­gramme, but the choir pulled it off and the large au­di­ence was warmly ap­pre­cia­tive.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.