Review: Thornbury Choral Society Concert, 1st December 2018
A complete Elgar programme including 2 pieces composed during the First World War was presented to a good audience in the Castle School tonight.
The Thornbury Camerata opened the evening with Polonia. The Orchestra created a warm sound and brought out the various quotations clearly. The Polish National Hymn was played with a grandeur befitting the tune.
The Spirit of England, a setting of Binyon’s words is a less well known work but the choir were well on top of the music. The helpful programme notes point out the many references to earlier Elgar works. I felt these were well managed and added to the Spirit rather than distracted. These are telling words with particular poignancy around the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Following the interval we were treated to the Music Makers. Special mention should be made for the Mezzo Oliva Gomez whose delivery was superb with well controlled vibrato used to warm the notes. The choir were under strength this evening due to illness and absence and this showed in the balance at times. However the overall performance was enjoyable and the message from the music powerfully put over.
It can be difficult to programme an entire concert from one composer, particularly when the items are composed in a similar timespan. Thornbury Choral and their conductor gave us a good insight into the music of the time and ably demonstrated the variety in Elgar’s compositions.