Messiah review


City of Birmingham Choir at Symphony Hall *****
Messiah has to be the favourite oratorio for countless people throughout the ages. Christmas is coming and the well-loved music and words echo down the centuries.
This evening's performance by the City of Birmingham Choir and CBSO was memorable and oh, so magical. A capacity audience sat in gentle silence, riveted by what we heard.
Conductor Adrian Lucas directed these large forces forces with calm and clear discretion. A multi - talented star, here is a musician who has apparently done it all: composing, performing, accompanying, solo work, teaching, examining, organist, orchestrating and arranging – the list is endless.
Noble strings wove their magic throughout, accompanying the massive choir and four soloists.
Bass, Andrew Greenan delivered his solo contributions with confidence and dignity. Young tenor soloist Gwillym Bowen also delighted with the clarity of his deliverance; a convincing contribution to the narrative..
The actual programme notes had curious mistakes in them, but we coped with what was occasionally erroneously expressed. Soprano soloist Julia Doyle needs to take care to pronounce consonants more at the end of words - often ones which finish a long phrase. A pleasing voice, but perhaps she is more conversant with microphones? Alto Anne Huntley entered into the spirit of this tour de force matching well with the soprano when required. Altogether a splendid evening, well deserving the standing ovation at its end.
Maggie Cotton

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