Sunday, 13 December 2009

'Bethlehem Down' Concert - St Paul's, Goodmayes

Immediately after the concert had finished I was approached by two members of the audience, neither of whom I knew.
The first commented
' It was refreshing to hear choral music delivered with exact and clear diction. I could hear every word being sung'
The second
' A meticulous delivery of some difficult music with an overall atmosphere of joy in being able to sing'
We should be proud of such comments, which is why I have lost no time in posting them...
there must be others out there to share with us...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

'Thames Link' Concert Review

My thanks to Madeline for forwarding the review which should have appeared in The Ilford Recorder last week, but failed to materialise for reasons unknown...........
thanks also for the positive and helpful comments on our music making

"The Valentine Singers, conducted by Christine Gwynne, presented an imaginative programme inspired by the River Thames at their concert at St. John’s Church, Buckhurst Hill, on Saturday.

‘Thames Link’ included works by composers connected with towns along the river from Oxford (Parry), through Reading (Finzi) to London, passing through Windsor Forest with Vaughan Williams, and Westminster with one of Handel’s Coronation Anthems. In between the choral items were readings – two extracts from Jerome K. Jerome’s humorous classic Three Men in a Boat, and a piece by Virginia Woolf.

It was ambitious to begin with unaccompanied works, but the Singers rose to the challenge. They were joined by Tim Smith at the piano for Vaughan Williams’ In Windsor Forest, producing some lively singing and a fine solo from Clare Gailans.

Handel’s My Heart is Inditing was accompanied by organ, oboe, trumpet and timpani. This created a problem. The organ is in the right transept; instrumentalists were in the left transept and there was a time-lag between the two. The choir, in the middle, sounded understandably a little unsure until everyone became accustomed to the acoustic. The moral of the story? Watch and follow the conductor, which is easier said than done!

Bob Chilcott’s Songs and Cries of London Town, brought the evening to a rousing conclusion and showed the Singers at their best. Jazzy rhythms in the outer movements were performed with panache, helped by a superb contribution from percussion and piano duet, and there was some lyrical singing in the slower movements. A most enjoyable performance. "

Madeline Seviour