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May 13, 2018 / basabbott

Plenty of Fireworks

Review

Verdi & Handel
Burgate Singers

In 1749 the weather rendered Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks something of a damp squib.
Safe in their village church, the Burgate Sinfonia restored all the flash and crackle, under Alain Judd’s exhorting direction.
Choir and orchestra then gave a spirited performance of Handel’s early work Dixit Dominus.
Natasha Page and Hannah Bennet sang as though they were soloists with twice as much experience.
With a prickling vigour, and distinguished work by the strings, a psalm setting became an emotional journey.
The Ave Maria in Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces brought out a more mature, restrained, nobler expression.
The singing became thrillingly operatic in the Stabat Mater and back to sweetly austere in the Lauda Alla Virgine Maria.
A deceptively monk-like opening to the Te Deum was a prelude to high and stormy passions.
This was a concert with as many fireworks as New Year’s Eve over the Thames.

Basil Abbott

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