- This event has passed.
November 19, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
A packed church heard a performance of almost all the music from Haydn’s celebrated oratorio, The Creation and applauded with enthusiasm and great warmth at the interval; even more so at the end.
On this occasion about 40 members of the Bardi Symphony Orchestra accompanied the performance. Secco recitatives were accompanied by keyboard and the various solo parts were shared between four singers. Taken as a whole this was an ambitious undertaking and members of the audience were rewarded with an enthusiastic performance which had some moments that made a powerful impact.
The quality of tone produced by the choir was very pleasing and consistent, though there were occasions when the approach to high notes was inclined to be fearful rather than confident. Dynamic control was less proficient and the scope for contrasts was often underexploited.
However, the start was sung with both assurance and finesse. The pianissimo was self-controlled, the lightness required for the staccato phrases was managed superbly with not a hint of what was about to happen. Then came a glorious fortissimo burst on the word light. Four crotchet beats of the most excellent powerful sound – very loud but not at all forced. Spine tingling stuff!
In such a challenging work, it isn’t surprising that there were some insecure moments. The orchestral cohesion at the beginning of the Representation of Chaos was very tentative and at the other end of the evening, the final chorus, Sing the Lord was also lacking in confidence for the first sections of fugal writing.
The tragedy of the evening was the unfortunate failure of Derek Nurse’s voice. He used much skill and expertise to honour his responsibility to Haydn but at the interval he withdrew from further solo singing. Ellie Stell was a neat and nimble Gabriel while Andrew Ashwin was a most impressive Raphael in parts 1 and 2 and then Adam in part 3. The relish which imbued his singing was palpably exciting. Karen Wilson-de-Roze was Adam’s partner Eve in part 3. Eve’s part is small but the technical and expressive demands were handled with stylish control.
Alan Barraclough’s direction of the performance was calm and controlled with aptly chosen tempi for the rather dry acoustic in the packed church.
It gives me great delight to see Lutterworth and District Choral Society maintain its numerous body of singers and I look forward to their continuing success in the diverse programme of concerts they undertake. If every member of the chorus were to glance up at the conductor more often – especially at the beginnings and ends of phrases, sections and numbers – I feel that their overall cohesion of sound would increase from its already good level. There were occasions when articulation was less than absolutely clear and there needs to be a strategy developed for sustained sounds. But let’s not forget what I said about light! The overall impression of the evening was that performers and audience alike were well pleased – and so they should have been.
– WV Tomkins
20 November 2016