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Chipperfield Choral Society Spring Concert

1st of May 2014

The Chipperfield Choral Society, directed with customary enthusiasm by Delia Meehan, gave a fine and varied programme at St John’s Boxmoor for their Spring Concert on 15 March. The programme began with Bizet’s little known and recently re-discovered Te Deum, with it jaunty and youthful opening section, which returned at the end of the work. In between was a challenging fugue which the choir managed well; and a trombone solo in the Tu Rex Gloriae, reminding us of what was to come in Mozart’s Tuba Mirum, no doubt well-known to Bizet. Next Anna Beryl played Dvorak’s own arrangement for cello and orchestra of Silent Woods, a beautiful and lyrical piece which gave audience and choir a chance to relax. Then Mary Bevan and the choir gave us Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, ever fresh despite all the wedding renderings. Mary and her sister Sophie are building fine careers in opera and oratorio, sometimes appearing together; and Mary is also becoming a regular with the CCS. The first half closed with Laudamus Te, one movement from Karl Jenkins’ much larger festival piece Gloria, the whole movement based on a simple hymn-like melody, accompanied by both organ and orchestra.
The second half gave us a spirited performance of Mozart’s Requiem in a recent version by Richard Maunder, but including the Sanctus, Benedictus and Osana which are of doubtful authenticity. The story of the Requiem is well-known. It was Mozart’s last, incomplete, composition and, whether intended or not, it was his own Requiem. The drama of the work is further heightened by the daring open fifth chord which ends the Kyrie and then re-appears in Cum Sanctus to end the whole work. There was some splendid singing by both choir and soloists: in addition to Mary Bevan, our own Rosemary Clifford sang mezzo-soprano, the tenor was Tom Robson and, as a last-minute replacement, Adrian Clarke sang Baritone.
The performances were enthusiastically appreciated by a capacity audience. It was an evening to remember.
John Uff

 
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