Alnwick & District Choral Society

Review

cropped flower

Handel's 'Messiah'

Sunday, 24th March 2013, 7.30 pm St Paul's Church, Alnwick

Panache and delicacy mark out a quality performance

Handelís ĎMessiahí was the work chosen for the spring concert performance of the Alnwick Choral Society at St Paulís Church, Alnwick. The church was well filled by a highly appreciative audience.

The choir prepare and rehearse weekly for their performances and their dedication is reflected in the quality of performance. This is a demanding work but it was performed with admirable skill and commitment: from the opening bars right through to the end. The choir sang beautifully. Their hard work clearly showed in the crispness of their entries and the balance between the sections as the work progresses.

The small orchestra, comprising just eight players, deserves special mention as well, for they played skilfully and harmoniously with the choir throughout. For a group that do not regularly play together this was admirable. Solo singers play an important part in this work as well and they did not disappoint Soprano, baritone, tenor and countertenor parts were sung by professional artists and they all gave committed and moving performances.

Choir leader Peter Brown conducted the performance with his customary panache and delicacy. It is noticeable how the very obvious warm rapport between him and the choir has developed and is reflected in the quality of performances of this group. He held this complex work together with consummate skill and musicianship and drew from the choir, orchestra and soloists a very fine performance indeed. The sustained applause at the conclusion well reflected the high quality.

Geoffrey Applegarth Review published in the Northumberland Gazette

The extremely cold evening was soon forgotten by everyone who was fortunate enough to be in St Paul's Church, Alnwick, on Sunday evening, 24th March, attending the performance of Handel's Messiah given by Alnwick and District Choral Society.

It was magnificent. The soloists, Claire Boulter Soprano, Michael Allsop Countertenor, Paul Rendall Tenor and Paul Gibson Bass, were brilliant. It was an unusual departure to have a countertenor rather than a contralto, but it fitted the performance wonderfully well.

Each section of the chorus lived and enjoyed every note they sang. They were a complete first class unit trained and led by their outstanding conductor, Peter Brown.

The soloists and chorus were superbly backed by the instrumental ensemble. It was three hours of sheer enjoyment, long to be remembered.

C. B.

A Triumph!

That was absolutely brilliant last night. I thought it was by far the best Iíd heard the choir sing.

I thought from the start how up-beat and brisk it all was, then I read in the programme that that was your intention, so you certainly succeeded.

It was very noticeable and the choir were really expressive and put feeling into the words (all of which were audible). I didnít notice a single cringe moment that one sometimes gets on the high notes Ė on the contrary I had tears in my eyes in many parts, especially the final ĎAmení.

It all was so tight and just sounded so professional. The soloists were wonderful and so was the orchestra. I was on the edge of my seat all night! Well done.

Anthony Stoker to Peter Brown