REVIEW: The Chichester Choirs

The Chichester Choirs, consisting of The University of Chichester Chamber Choir, The Chichester Chorale & Otter Consort, performed a concert of nineteenth & twentieth century English Choral Music at St Georges Church, Chichester.on Saturday 28 April.

Arthur Robson
Arthur Robson

Opening with Elgar's "Give unto the Lord" and with a first half programme consisting of music by Elgar, Holst, Bridge & Stanford, the choirs settled quickly & confidently to their task. Holst's "Psalm 148" & Bridge's "Three Songs" were the nuanced harmonic, moving highlights of the opening programme. The choirs showed focused sensitivity and engagement with these two iconic pieces of late English Romanticism.

After the Interval a Vaughan Williams programme including his "Te Deum in G", "Three Shakespeare Songs" & "Mass in G Minor" were the radiant highlights of a very fine evening. Father and son conductors Arthur & Tom Robson expertly elicited & inspired performances of complex harmonic texture and musicality from their choirs. Conveyed with clarity, distinctive technique & emotional range by the four excellent soloists, Camilla Harris (soprano), Susan Legg (mezzo-soprano), Ryan Williams (tenor) & Stephen Kennedy (bass), the complex musical texture & tempo & ultimately high drama of the Mass was impressively expressed. Robert Mingay-Smith on organ expertly underpinned the concert as a whole. A memorable musical evening of moving integrity.

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