Monday, March 15, 2010


Chelmsford Singers in Chelmsford Cathedral


Handel's festive anthems for the 1727 Coronation were paired with vibrant settings by his Venetian contemporary Vivaldi in an ambitious and hugely enjoyable evening of choral music.

They began with The King Shall Rejoice, sung with enthusiasm, accompanied by the sparkling strings of an unnamed but stylish orchestra. I was impressed by the long sustained phrases in the Glory, and the clarity and precision of the closing Alleluia.

Less extrovert, My Heart Is Inditing, saw the Singers spurred on by Peter Nardone expressive direction, while the best known of the four anthems, Zadok The Priest, had its drama and its dynamics carefully managed. I liked the way the repeated word “King” was allowed, almost imperceptibly, to echo and decay.

Vivaldi's brief Beatus Vir moved thrillingly, rhythmically towards its Gloria; the Magnificat was lovingly shaped, with sustained notes over a regular pulse. The more famous Gloria in D Major, featured some of the best solo singing of the evening, with sensitive accompaniment from oboe and cello, and a splendid fugal finish from the choir.

The Chelmsford Singers were directed by Peter Nardone, with and orchestra led by Kathryn Parry. The soloists were Sophie Biebuyck, Soprano, Lucy Goddard, mezzo and Daniel Chard, alto.

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