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‘Highs and Lows’ for The Phil

Elgar – The Music Makers

Rutter – Magnificat

Dewsbury Town Hall,

Saturday November 14 2009

THE weeks leading up to Christmas are always the busiest time of the year for choirs, as members of the Yorkshire Philharmonic can testify.

The Phil’s Christmas season traditionally starts with a mid- November visit to DewsburyTown Hall, which this year saw it performing Elgar’s moving Music Makers and Rutter’s Magnificat.

Choir chairman Richard Haigh said: “The audience was smaller than usual but the performance was no less powerful. Elgar’s piece is exceedingly difficult with numerous key, dynamic and tempo changes. The Magnificat is a complete contrast with samba and rumba rhythms.”

However, conductor Andrew Padmore had schooled his charges to perfection and they were clearly on song, as were the evening’s guests. “The Amici Ensemble absolutely excelled themselves,” said Richard. “Likewise contralto soloist Gaynor Keeble, whose sensuous tones were the cream on top of a luscious evening of English music.”

If the Dewsbury concert was a case of hitting the high notes, then things will be somewhat lower – 450 feet or thereabouts – when members of the choir sing outside Santa’s underground grotto at the National Coal Mining Museum.

David Pickersgill, Wakefield Express

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