Thursday, December 22, 2011


Chelmsford Singers in Chelmsford Cathedral

Shaffer's envious Salieri was amazed - "It seemed to me I was hearing the voice of God," he says in "Amadeus".
I was reminded of those words as Katherine Fuge's pure soprano floated over the woodwind in the sublime Et Incarnatus Est from Mozart's Great C minor Mass. From her first appearance in the Christe, it was clear that hers was a voice at one with the composer's genius, a lambent, pure tone soaring to the ceiling a memorable moment.

This was a magnificent performance, from the dramatic Kyrie to the complex counterpoint of the Benedictus. The other soprano, just as impressive as Katherine, was Julie Cooper, outstanding in the ornate Laudamus Te. The Singers, under the inspirational direction of Peter Nardone, were on exceptionally good form throughout, producing a powerful, expressive sound, in the majestic ending of the Gloria, for example.
The accompaniment was provided by the Suffolk-based Prometheus Orchestra, led by Pam Munks. Excellent, authentic-sounding tone, with splendid brass for the Sanctus. They were given a solo spot, too, an energetic Adagio and Fugue. And the evening began with Julie Cooper bringing a refreshing warm, open tone to Mozart's familiar Exsultate, Jubilate.
One of the best concerts I've heard this year, and a much appreciated Christmas gift from the Chelmsford Singers.

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