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A Paradoxical Pleasure

Carmina Burana - Misa Criola

QEGS - Queen Elizabeth Hall

Saturday, March 24

A modern sacred mass and a collection of secular, medieval poems, some of a carnal nature, might appear to be the most unlikely musical bedfellows.

However, despite obvious contrasts, their juxtaposition in this concert proved to be not only effective but paradoxically complimentary.

It was clear from the outset that this was going to be an evening of pervasive and captivating rhythms as the hugely talented Latin American folk ensemble Mestisa, using indigenous instruments, performed a small selection of South American songs whose musical styles were then clearly reflected in the Misa Criolla which followed.

Composed by Argentinian Ariel Ramirez, this beautiful work was sensitively performed in Spanish by the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir and Mestisa who excelled in the Sanctus and Agnus Dei movements.

With a libretto in Latin verse, provincial French and middle High German, Carmina Burana, arranged on this occasion for two pianos expertly played by brothers Thomas and Steve Moore, provided further opportunity for the choir to display its linguistic as well as musical skills.

Under the consistently energetic baton of Andrew Padmore, it attacked the fiercely demanding score with huge gusto, fully exploiting its insistent and repetitive rhythms, yet demonstrating a vocal adaptability that catered superbly for the wildly vacillating pulse of the music.

Together with accomplished guest soloists Samantha Hay (soprano), Daniel Wellings (counter- tenor), Thom Meredith (baritone), QEGS Junior School choir, and six consummate percussionists from the Royal Northern College of Music, the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir left no stone unturned in giving full expression to the drama and exhilaration of Carl Orff's masterpiece.

Robert Cowan

March 2012.

Wakefield Express

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