"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Wednesday, November 08, 2017
A celebration of 20th
century French Music
The Stondon Singers at St Michael
and All Angels, Galleywood
Michael and All Angels proved a good space for this collection of
century choral music.
least for the Conacher & Co organ, re-sited in the recent
restoration to the west end, with the console now in the south aisle.
Seated at it, Laurence Lyndon-Jones, whose contribution was
invaluable, especially in the Langlais
Messe Solenelle, where the dramatic interventions from the organ were
thrillingly effective, particularly
in the Gloria. The choir, directed with scrupulous precision and
attention to detail by Christopher
Tinker, coped well with contrapuntal writing here, and with the more
contemplative Benedictus which precedes the assertive Agnus Dei.
O Sacrum Convivium, an
unaccompanied communion motet,
was performed with exemplary control, bringing out its
ethereal textures and
programme was book-ended by two popular works: Fauré’s Cantique de
Jean Racine, taken at a reverent tempo, with well-shaped choral
Poulenc’s lively Gloria, with two choir members sharing the soprano
solos, and the organ tackling the fanfares, the strings and the
clarinet of the more usual orchestral accompaniment. A triumphant end
to an impressive sampler of very different styles, with the Singers
relishing the expansively lyrical Rex Caelestis and the lush
harmonies of the final
Qui Sedes with its mystical, uplifting Amen.