Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Best Yet

Or so one audience member said to me last night. The audience certainly didn't limit themselves to smattering of polite clapping at the end of our Purcell "Sing Unto the Lord" concert on Saturday evening. The necessity of giving extra curtain calls even confused some choir members who didn't realise that they could walk back on stage for further applause.

With a choir of mixed abilities, such as Cantilena, it's easy to wonder at the start of each term whether we have pushed the boat out a bit far this time and how we are ever going to pull it all together. And this Spring term was shorter than usual.

But we did, is all that can be said. An all-female orchestra (until the trumpets joined us in the second half) produced a rich, yet authentic sound and our vocal soloists sounded pure and co-ordinated. And where would we have been without Jacquelyn, our indefatigable organist?

In the atmosphere of the concert venue, concentration is heightened and that reflects in the music, giving it the tension needed to communicate the music to the audience. And doesn't Purcell know how to communicate! Whether it's the doom-laden "full of misery" in the funeral sentences, the sexy "come my fair one" so sensuously passed between Alto & Soprano in "My Beloved Spake" or the glorious trumpets in the Jubilate & Te Deum", all all works superbly.

Perhaps we should give the last word to the trumpets who gave the finale the real tingle-factor. "It's fine so long as you don't make a mistake" said one of the trumpeters to me "if you do, there's no hiding!"

Which is true, but there were no mistakes and we all tingled to the end!