Review of Ely Choral Society’s concert in Ely Cathedral Lady Chapel

Ely Cathedral Flower Festival,

Ely Cathedral Flower Festival, - Credit: Archant

ON a rare warm summer’s evening there is nothing better than to attend a concert in Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel.

Ely Choral Society’s event In Nature’s Realm on Saturday was indeed well worth attending.

The programme was interesting and varied; the participants in fine form.

Conducted by Andrew Parnell, Ely Choral Society was joined by Ely Youth Choir and Jonathan Lilley (piano) to present works by Dvo?ák, Fauré, Debussy, Rutter, Britten, Ireland, Saint-Saëns, Elgar and Dillon.

Of Ely Choral Society’s offerings, Edward Elgar’s My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land, Spanish Serenade and As Torrents in Summer were their best.


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This choir seemed to have a special affinity for this composer and the parts moved in smooth blended harmony to produce delightful sounds.

The other intriguing works the choir presented included Dvo?ák’s Songs of Nature, Four Songs by Fauré, Five Flower Songs by Britten and Deux Choeurs by Saint-Saëns.

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Ely Youth Choir is getting better and better and their songs were a charming addition to the programme.

In Blue Mountain River by Cara Dillon the parts gelled well and the solos were delightful. John Rutter’s Look at the World flowed beautifully.

Jonathan Lilley added some magnificent solo items, selecting works that were most appropriate for the venue. Especially impressive were the works by Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir and Jardins sous la pluie.

The fluidity of the harmonies was well expressed and the pointed notes of the rain in the gardens in the second piece were clearly portrayed.

Jonathan’s phenomenal talent and technique were in no doubt as he played Ireland’s The Cherry Trees and The Palm and May.

He revelled in the lyricism of the first piece and the luxurious rolls and flourishes in the second.

His accompanying as expected was supportive and faultless. He will be missed when he takes up a new post at Waltham Abbey in September.

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