March 2005: Choral Classics

CHORAL CLASSICS

Exeter Cathedral, 10 March 2005

Exeter Festival Chorus with Exeter Cathedral Choir and Paul Morgan (organ)
Conducted by Nigel Perrin (EFC), Andrew Millington and Stephen Tanner (Exeter Cathedral Choir)
Soloists from EFC: Liz Railton, Hannah Reynolds (sopranos), Sue Odell (alto), Nigel Crane (tenor), Rob Martin (bass)
Soloist from Cathedral Choir: Julian Sotton (bass)

Source: J Holt - Making Music (National Federation of Music Societies) Visitor

"Once again this concert gave me the opportunity of hearing the Festival Chorus and the Cathedral Choir, separately and jointly, and the wide variety of music was performed to a very high standard. However, the first item (Zadok) did not have the maximum effect without the full orchestral accompaniment. That said the remaining pieces were excellent choices for the occasion. Of the items sung by the Festival Chorus alone, the most ''electrifying'' for me were the 'Spirituals' by Tippett. When a society can produce such good class soloists from its own ranks, it is proof of the high standard of that group and, it was so in this performance!

The acoustics of the building were used to full advantage when some other pieces were sung from transept or choir stalls out of sight. The Allegri (Miserere mei), sung by both choirs was an example of this, with the plainsong and famous high note from a chorister, producing a most moving experience.

Lack of space prevents me from commenting on many of the choral items, but the whole evening was most uplifting, culminating with the wonderful anthem by Parry (Hear my words, ye people). Once again the organ playing of Paul Morgan was of a very high standard.

From comments made to me by some of the audience they, like me, thoroughly enjoyed this musical feast, including the encore!"