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December 12, 2016 / basabbott

Audience On Its Feet

Review

Christmas Concert
Harleston

Few concerts have the audience on its feet quite so often. At St. John’s Church it was to join the Choral Society in carols.
Choir and orchestra, conducted by Christopher Bracewell, also performed Vivaldi, Faure, Franck and Corelli.
The result was the musical equivalent of old master paintings with a crib scene and a castle in the background.
Vivaldi’s Gloria had the thrill of angel singing and that sense of holy mystery in centuries of sacred music.
The mellow swell of Faure’s Cantique and the surging sweetness of Franck’s Panis Angelicus were memorable.
The orchestra (leader Stuart Traeger), who had matched every mood, surpassed themselves in Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.
The light and shade, with a kind of loving poignancy, seemed to convey Christ’s life cycle, not just his birth.
There were heartfelt solos, from Natalie Keane, Rachel Keale and Shirley Smith; and some glorious trumpet from Ray Simmons.
Berlioz’ Shepherds’ Farewell was sung with fervour, highlighted by the soft klaxon sound of David Price’s oboe.

Basil Abbott

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