REVIEW: Another wonderful concert from Ely Choral Society

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 October 2019

Ely Choral Society, under the directorship of Andrew Parnell, produced wonderful sounds on Saturday night in Ely Cathedral. Pictured is organist Glen Dempsey. Picture: ROSEMARY WESTWELL.

Ely Choral Society, under the directorship of Andrew Parnell, produced wonderful sounds on Saturday night in Ely Cathedral. Pictured is organist Glen Dempsey. Picture: ROSEMARY WESTWELL.

Archant

Ely Choral Society, under the directorship of Andrew Parnell, produced wonderful sounds on Saturday night in Ely Cathedral.

Ely Choral Society, under the directorship of Andrew Parnell, produced wonderful sounds on Saturday night in Ely Cathedral. Pictured is conductor Andrew Parnell. Picture: ROSEMARY WESTWELL.Ely Choral Society, under the directorship of Andrew Parnell, produced wonderful sounds on Saturday night in Ely Cathedral. Pictured is conductor Andrew Parnell. Picture: ROSEMARY WESTWELL.

There were great moments of beautiful sonority and cohesion. Word pictures were particularly impressive and contrasts were clearly and meaningfully exploited.

The soloists were Rebecca Duckworth (soprano) and Jonathan Midgley (baritone) and the organist was Glen Dempsey.

They were highly commendable with the organist managing the instrument magnificently making it far more expressive than I thought possible.

Rebecca's delightful tone, clarity and expertise enhanced the concert wonderfully.

The baritone, Jonathan Midgley, brought his solos alive with his attention to expression.

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The balanced programme included works by Haydn, Fauré, and Mozart. The opening 'Insanæ et vanæ curæ' by Haydn captured the audience's attention immediately with its powerful and dramatic impact.

This was contrasted by the lovely performance of the peaceful and calm 'Pavane' by Fauré.

Then Jonathan Midgley gave performed 'Fantasia in F minor' by Mozart, playing the most rapid of notes with absolute clarity as assurance.

A fine performance of Haydn's 'Missa Brevis S. Joannis de Deo' (Hob XX11) by Ely Choral Society and the organist lead us to the interval.

The highlight of the evening for me was Fauré's Requiem that formed the second half of the programme.

These first-rate performers captured every sumptuous effect in Fauré's score making the music exquisite, emotive, dark, mysterious or dramatic as the score dictated.

This was indeed a wonderful concert. The next event by Ely Choral Society will be their family carols on Saturday December 14 at St Mary's Church. It will start at 7pm.

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