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Review: Thornbury Choral Society Concert, 25th November 2017

Thornbury Choral Society chose to perform CPE Bach’s Magnificat this weekend.  Typically CPE Bach’s Magnificat is paired with J S Bach’s looking backwards towards its origins. However as CPE sits on the cusp of Baroque and Classical, looking forward to one of Haydn’s  best loved settings of the Mass was good programming.  The CPE Bach Magnificat is not a well-known work outside the choral tradition and it is a challenging piece, the son having learnt a lot about fast running semiquavers from the father.  It is however, a lovely work and Thornbury Choral gave a very enjoyable performance. Possibly the highlight of the evening was Dan Robson’s (Bass - Baritone) superbly stylised performance of the Fecit Potentiam – He has shewed strength.  An immensely difficult aria with a huge range was carried off with engaging aplomb.

After the interval the choir returned to much more well-known territory with Haydn’s Nelson Mass. The joyous opening Kyrie demonstrated a much better balance between the choir and the orchestra and that set the scene for the rest of the evening.  Dr Steven Kings managed the increased forces well providing clear and helpful direction in all departments.  In particular the ensemble between the soloists was excellent.  In the Et Incarnatus the exchanges between choir and soloists worked very well.

Once again Thornbury Choral Society put together and performed a good programme of works. The audience appreciated their efforts and the work Thornbury Choral Society do to keep good quality choral music in the locality.

Chris Hill