There are no upcoming events.




A Celebration of European Choral Music

Saturday 1 Feb 2020

It’s the very first day of Britain not being in the European Union anymore and here we had the WCFC in Chandlers Ford Methodist Church performing an entire concert that celebrated European choral works and no mention of politics at all. The concert took us from Germany to Austria, on to Russia, France and Italy, back to Austria and ended in Bohemia. The choir was accompanied in several items by a brass quintet (2 trumpets and 3 trombones) and, right from the very beginning, in a Bach motet (where they were joined by a flautist), they displayed a smooth blend and cohesive sound.

The choir showed their ability to sing with energy and attack in Haydn’s Insanae et vanae curae and also mastered the Old Church Slavonic language in Glinka’s Cherubic Hymn, which had a rich sound, appropriate for the Russian style. Rossini’s operatic flair was evident in a short motet and was executed with a nice sense of drama. It is always good to see a choir singing with enjoyment and, on several occasions, the enthusiasm was clear for all to see. In the Fauré and Bruckner pieces there were times when the men’s enthusiasm momentarily resulted in a less focused sound, but one could not fault their commitment.

Dvořák’s Mass in D occupied the second half of the concert, in a version for organ and brass and timpani. The composer’s gift for melody was amply in evidence and there was much lyrical singing, with a fine semi-chorus taking the solo parts. Sachin Gunga, Sub-Organist at Portsmouth Cathedral, had already shown his musicianship in sensitive accompanying in the concert’s first half, and in Dvořák’s ‘Benedictus’ his meditative solo was exemplary. The composer’s lilting melodies were delightful to hear, with the exchanges between the altos and the full choir in the ‘Credo’ especially fine. Throughout the work drama, rejoicing and contemplation were all conveyed well. Conductor Graham Kidd is to be congratulated for a performance that was both rousing and stimulating and for overseeing an inspired piece of programming.

Duncan Eves

This review appeared in the Hampshire Chronicle

See previous reviews