Solihull Choral Society review


Solihull School *****
A challenging programme conducted throughout by Oliver Walker, an artist of many talents. Also an organist and adjudicator, he supports and encourages Choral Music in the UK, tours abroad and inspires youngsters to sing throughout the country at many schools.
Threads of harpsichord backed Handel's 'Esther Overture', played by a vibrato-free Sinfonia of Birmingham. Stalwarts all.
Smiling Vivaldi's 'Gloria' captures life's ups and downs with carefully contrasted solo voices - Milly Forrest – Soprano; Emily Sierra Mezzo- Soprano. Women's voices in the chorus certainly out-numbered the men, however the well-crafted baroque balance was maintained throughout the evening much to the delight of a near- capacity audience in Solihull School's magnificent Chapel.
Haydn's 'Nelson Mass' (1798) is probably named after triumph at the Battle of the Nile – this news possibly arriving in Vienna near the time of the first performance when Haydn met Lord Nelson in 1800 (Esterhazy Palace).
Starting with the women soloists, the Kyrie is hair-raising, leading to a full-throated chorus; added soloists Michael Bell Tenor, and velvety Bass-Baritone Edward Jowle.
Parts of the Mass seem vaguely familiar, easy to follow in the programme especially with very clear words from the large chorus. Effortless long phrases from the soprano soloist charmed everyone. Final trumpet calls with added timpani brought smiles all round as we held our breath for the final exciting chords.
Maggie Cotton

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