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Reviews 2010/11 season
Faure’s Requiem, 2 April 2011
"A beautifully balanced concert.."
I am sure a lot of music lovers attended the MH Choral Society Spring concert because they love the gentle and tranquil Requiem by Faure, I know I did and, of course, it was a delight.
The choir sang at their best, led by MD Anselm Kersten and Alan Barraclough accompanied them on the organ. The music was uplifting. Soprano Janice Hubery’s solo Pie Jesu was especially beautiful and their guest baritone, ex-professional and choir member Brian Cookson,
had a voice of operatic quality. It was all we had hoped to hear.
The Requiem was the second half of the programme and before the interval we were introduced to a piece of music I was less familiar with as the choir sang excerpts from Handel’s oratorio Saul.
This told the biblical story of the bitter rivalry between King Saul and the future King
David. Alan Barraclough accompanied the choir’s dramatic choruses and arias, this time on the piano. Charlotta Hickey narrated the story and the soloists were Pauline Rainey (soprano), Clare Davies (alto) and Brian Cookson (baritone) with Nancy Cunningham singing the Witch of Endor. It was a very exciting piece and a perfect foil to the quieter Requiem which followed.
A beautifully balanced concert, much enjoyed by singers and audience alike.
by Vivien Window
Christmas Carols by Candlelight
"Magical performances for the Christmas Season"
Market Harborough Choral Society entertained 160 people to Christmas Carols by Candlelight, from 15th century carols to the present day.
Centre piece of the evening was Benjamin Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ with soloists Janice Hubery , Clare Davies and Bernard Colyer, who performed this eclectic arrangement of carols with clarity, ably supported by the choir showing the talent within. Kate Doncaster, a 16 year old music student was given the opportunity to show that the youth of Harborough will not be left behind by their seniors while singing the haunting Christmas Lullaby from Songs of The New World.
Tina Marshall and Pauline Rainey sang from the lofty pulpit to enhance the magic of their performances. Seasonal readings by Janice Granger added humour to the night, especially as it was suggested that the men should do the washing up over Christmas! MD Anselm Kersten’s quirky and entertaining introductions to the items set the tone for the evening, encouraging plenty of audience participation in a number of well- loved carols, ably accompanied by Alan Barraclough.
The audience eagerly awaits the performance of Faure’s Requiem next April to hear this community choir give more pleasure to the public.
Bruckner E Minor Mass November 2010
"Festive singers hit all the right notes"
"Inspirational playing and singing"
The inspirational playing and singing at the Methodist Church on Saturday brightened a dank November evening. The varied programme began with the Kyrie, Christie and Kyrie from Palestrina’s Missa Brevis and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonnelle.
These choral items admirably demonstrated the clarity and balance of the choir. Alto Claire Davies sang Schubert’s Standchen which was delightfully expressive and captivating solo with support from the choir’s soprano and alto sections. Tenor Richard Blewitt performed Schubert’s Der Doppelganger which allowed this fine singer to demonstrate the emotion, sensitivity and power which this song demands. Alan Barraclough was the splendid accompanist.
The first half featured the excellent performances by the Bardi Symphonic Winds who performed both the 2nd movement from Beethovern’s 7th symphony and Strauss’s Serenade Op7 for thirteen wind instruments. Their musicianship saw wonderful interplay between flutes, clarinets, oboes, horns and tuba.
The second half was an impressinve performance of Bruckner’s challenging Mass No2 in E minor. The choir was notably confident in the Gloria’s Qui Tollis and the Amen’s final crescendo. The Credo conveyed suitable sadness and mystery and the requisite confidence in the Agnes Dei, the rousing conclusion to the work.
This Mass includes two Aequale for alto, tenor and bass trombones. The instrumentalists were superb along with the Bardi Symphonic Winds.
This was an enjoyable concert that conductor Anselm Kersten and all involved should be pleased with.