Sunday, March 18, 2012


Chelmsford Singers at Chelmsford Cathedral

An upbeat farewell to Peter Nardone from his Chelmsford Singers, featuring two of the most loved choral works from the Classical period.
First, Mozart's Solemn Vespers, opening with a confident Dixit Dominus, performed with exemplary attack and excellent internal balance, thanks in part to the men from the Cathedral Choir who augmented the tenors and basses. Spirited support, too, from the Chelmer Classical Players, led by Sarah Sexton. After the complex Laudate Pueri and its powerful Amen, one of Mozart's most sublime melodies, the Laudate Dominum, performed here by soprano Janet Coxwell.
Then Haydn's Nelson Mass, composed eighteen years later in 1798. The assertive Kyrie, with Nardone's distinctive counter-tenor joining the soloists for a bar or two, was followed by the Gloria, with some incisive contributions from tenor Julian Stocker and bass Andrew Davies. The strings especially eloquent in accompaniment here; after the stark Crucifixus, the drama and excitement of the Resurrection. Impressively solemn choral singing in the Sanctus led to a splendid Benedictus, a thrilling battle between the singers and the brass and drums.
Peter Nardone has directed the Chelmsford Singers for eight years; now he is off to Worcester [and their Festival Choral Society], and after the warm applause they paid a hearfelt tribute to the education, the inspiration and the fun he has brought them.

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