"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Singers in the Parish Church
the Diamond Jubilee and the joys of summer – despite a damp sky and
cool breeze – the Waltham Singers brought us some very polished
singing, and some fine pianism as well. The
summery pieces included a controlled but expressive Brahms'
Zigeunerlieder, in the original German, and Bob Chilcott's hugely
enjoyable Fables from Aesop. The words crucial here too, and I was
very impressed with the articulation, especially in the titles and
the morals – Slow But Steady, Much Ado, Sour Grapes and so on –
which were models of choral speaking.
Bullard's Summer Garland was commissioned by the choir ten years ago
for the Golden Jubilee. "Pleasantly pastoral" I called it then, and it was good to hear it again, given two performances
astride the interval. The busy bee, with buzzing and description
tossed around amongst the voices, the idyllic acrostic epilogue from
Alice, and the lively dance of the holiday Summer Queen were all
imaginatively set and beautifully performed. Britten's Choral Dances
– opening with a joyous peal of bells – also harked back to the
accompanist was Tim Carey, who gave us bonuses by Beethoven,
Rachmaninoff, and, delightfully appropriate, Grainger's jolly Country
Gardens, in duet with Kate Hanson.