Review: Stroud Choral Society, Gloucester Cathedral
Stroud Choral Society, Gloucester Cathedral
Freezing conditions outside did not put anybody off and there was a large, enthusiastic audience for this concert.
I lost count of the numbers but the choir seemed in excess of one hundred with what seemed a lot more men than before which contributed to the balance.
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All in all I would rate this as one of the best concerts I have heard by this go-ahead choir under its new conductor Huw Williams.
Always responsive to his direction I was impressed by the clear diction and the fervency and quality of sound produced, not just by the choir but equally by the four splendid soloists.
Although Mozart's Requiem in D minor was probably the main crowd-puller Haydn's Therisienmesse in the first half proved to be equally compelling as the choir entered into a rich outpouring of sound in the opening Gloria: Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te.
With Et Resurrexit, joy and exuberance abounded from choir, soloists and orchestra but at other times there were darker sounds in total contrast.
The quartet of soloists have an equal role with the choir and are kept busy throughout.
This Mass has so much variety that it proved compelling and I enjoyed it immensely.
The composition of Mozart's Requiem is surrounded by myth and fantasy which is fully exploited in the play and the film, Amadeus.
It is clear that other hands were involved in the score although Mozart's score of Requiem aeternam is complete.
Mozart only managed to complete eight bars in the sublime Lacrimosa. Sussmayr's completion of the full work is the form in which the Requiem is now generally performed but numerous other composers had a hand.
Even so there still remains a pervasive sublimity and an overwhelming sense of grief and tragedy which was well conveyed in this moving performance right through to the final Lux Aeterna Luceat Eis, Domine.
The success of this concert was due not just to the choir but to the excellent Regency Sinfonia and the splendid soloists: Emma Brain- Gabbott, soprano; Jeanette Ager, alto; Ben Thapa, tenor, and Philip Tebb, bass.