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May 8, 2016 / basabbott

Sullivan Without Gilbert

Review

Spring Concert
Burgate Singers

Rarely performed works by Arthur Sullivan were on this programme at Eye Church conducted by Alain Judd.
The Overture Di Ballo pre-dates Sullivan’s days with Gilbert, while his Boer War Te Deum
comes from his life’s end.
The tuneful, friendly Di Ballo, with its polonaise, waltz and galop sections, and a classical sheen gave a firecracker start by the Burgate Sinfonia.
No tedium in the Te Deum but rip-roaring praise, with its stirring inclusion of Onward Christian Soldiers.
A dozen years later the hymn was parodied in the trenches as Forward Joe Soap’s Army.
Requiem for An Unknown Soldier, by John Carol Case, was another little-known gem. Dating from WW2, it began spare and stark, built to a life-affirming climax and peace at the last.
The Mefistofeles Prologue, by Arrigo Boito, with nods to Goethe and Wagner, made hell’s foundations quiver.
With a charming, rogue devil, bass James Gower, pitting his vocal powers against the heavenly host, this was high drama.

Basil Abbott

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