Carol Concert Monday 19th December 2016 at The Minster, Ilminster

The retiring collection for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at the recent Carol concert raised the magnificent sum of £661.91 We have been asked to pass on the PCRF's thanks

 

Concert 19th November 2016 Church of St Peter and St Paul, South Petherton

The church of St Peter and St Paul in South Petherton was the venue for the concert given by the South Somerset Choral Society, entitled “Heaven and Harmony”, which showcased three very different works in the great tradition of English choral music.

Handel’s Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, was performed with admirable clarity from the first notes of the overture to the powerful final chorus.  The range of orchestral textures was both varied and colourful: settings of text by the poet Dryden concerning the ancient idea of the “music of the spheres” made specific references to “the soft complaining flute” and  “the trumpet's loud clangour”, both admirably conveyed by flautist Leslie Sheills and trumpeter, David Bertie.  Special mention must be given to the cellist, Lucy Simmons, whose playing was a joy to listen to.

The society’s tradition of employing young soloists at the start of their careers is to be commended and certainly paid dividends in this case.  Solo arias were sung with beautiful phrasing and clear diction by Sophie Gallagher (soprano) and also by the tenor Sam Jenkins.

The second half of the concert consisted of Bob Chilcott’s Requiem, written in 2010, which provided quite different opportunities for the choir.  Here was a work primarily of contemplation and serenity, and the choir were at their best in “Thou knowest, Lord”, an unusual additional movement using text from the Book of Common Prayer. The young soloists also acquitted themselves well in the Pie Jesu (soprano) and the Agnus Dei (tenor), both of which also featured subtle contributions from the choir, delivered with warmth and sensitivity. Congratulations to all involved in this thoroughly musically satisfying evening.

Edited from a review by Paul Broom

 

Concert 19th March 2016 St Mary's Church, Chard

THE SEASONS by Joseph Haydn is not a gentle stroll through a nice landscape at different times of the year, but an expansive musical evocation of country life including the weather, sunrise and darkness, birdsong, leaping fish, croaking frogs, hunting, harvesting and general bucolic revelry by the ever present peasantry.

The chorus has a prominent role throughout, greater than in The Creation, the better known forerunner of The Seasons. The choir gave it everything they had and the result was suitably and satisfyingly riotous. At the other more muted and reflective end of the vocal spectrum there was some really well controlled and tuneful singing in passages which captured the intended humour or pathos.

The twenty one piece orchestra under the baton of MD, Tim Donaldson, played extremely well as a unit, managing the infectious rhythms with great confidence, maintaining even tone and giving an impressive account in all sections.

The trio of young soloists, who had a lot to sing, portrayed the country characters with great confidence and pleasing clear diction. The tenor, Ruari Bowen, fresh out of King's College choir, gave a particularly good account of "the trav'ler stands perplexed" aria managing to engage the audience with some fine lyrical singing.

Overall this was a courageous choice and a well conducted, energetic performance in which there was much to applaud and the generous ovation at the end was fully deserved.

Edited from a review by John Broad


Reviews and press releases from earlier years can be seen here