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Review 18 May 2013
50th Anniversary Concert
18 May 2013 at the Castle School
Once again Thornbury Choral Society produced a magnificent evening’s entertainment. Never shy to try new works their 50th Anniversary Concert on 16th May was packed with musical gems. The first item was Handel’s well-
“Rejoice in the Lamb” composed by Britten for another 50th anniversary in 1943 is based on a long, rambling poem by the C18th poet, Christopher Smart. It is in several sections: how animals praise the Lord, the blessings of flowers, Smart’s personal tribulations and the mystical nature of four letters of the alphabet -
Steven Kings has been the conductor of Thornbury Choral Society since 2005. He is also an accomplished composer. He was asked to write a piece for the 50th anniversary by TCS and “Care-
There was a lovely instrumental interlude before the final Chichester Psalms. Robin Baggs (organ) and Kathryn Rees Peak (harp) played a delightful duet by a lesser known impressionist composer, Grandjany, harking back to an earlier time. “Aria in a Classic Style” was just that. Idiomatic writing for both harp and organ produced a light, elegant sound and gave both soloists the opportunity to shine.
Having shown their prowess by singing in Czech, the choir and soloists sang in Hebrew for the final piece, Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms”. Originally written with an orchestral accompaniment, Bernstein prepared this alternative version for organ, harp and percussion. The counter tenor solos are not easy but Simon Clulow, despite looking nervous, hit the correct notes for his difficult entries. The choir coped well with the sudden changes in mood and the asymmetrical rhythms and created a wonderful sense of joy and awe which brought the concert to a close.
This was a challenging programme and Thornbury Choral Society should be proud of their achievements in this their 50th Anniversary Year. Do come and support them: they deserve a much bigger audience.