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Magnificent Magnificat

Bach Magnificat

Mozart Mass in C Minor

Saturday, October 29 2011

To launch its new season of concerts, the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir made bold choices in performing two hugely demanding works from the baroque and classical periods respectively.

With orchestral accompaniment superbly provided by the Amici Ensemble, who firstly gave an engaging performance of Handel's The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba from his oratorio Solomon, the choir and guest soloist were quick to captivate their audience with J. S. Bach's masterpiece, the Magnificat in D Major.

Its 12 short sections, which provide a variety of solo and orchestral movements of differing dynamics, constitute an exultant hymn of praise which could hardly have been sung with greater verve and passion than on this occasion.

Especially noteworthy was the choir's vigorous performance of the Omnes Generationes and Gloria Patri sections, while guest soloist Sarah Ogden (soprano), Helen Withers (soprano), and Lynda-Jane Nelson (mezzo soprano) achieved delightful harmonisation in Suscepit Israel.

Appropriately known as the "Great Mass", Mozart's Mass in C Minor is a work of some exuberance and grandeur, qualities unequivocally conveyed by both soloists and choir.

The latter's performance of the rousing Sanctus and Qui Tollis, replete with heartfelt entreaty, was particularly impressive. Peter Wilman (tenor) and Louis Hurst (bass baritone) also proved to be exceptional talents throughout but notably in the Benedictus.

Under the masterly direction of Andrew Padmore, all sections of the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir combined to scale new heights of vocal accomplishment in this fine performance.

Together with guest soloists, organist Thomas Moore and the wonderful Amici Ensemble, the provided a feast of sacred music that was as inspirational as it was uplifting.

Robert Cowan

November 2011.

Wakefield Express.

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