Reviews 2012

2012

Bach: Mass in B Minor


Bach: Mass in B Minor
Snape Maltings Concert Hall
Saturday May 5th 2012

The University of Essex Choir’s performance of the Bach B Minor Mass was both disciplined and elegant. From the crisp opening Kyrie to the finely interwoven Donna nobis pacem conductor Richard Cooke marshalled his forces to effectively emphasise the spiritual narrative and emotional integrity of the music.

The choir’s performance was defined by clarity of articulation (Gloria in Excelsis Deo), energy, exuberance and well-defined texture (Hosanna) and a deep sense of commitment (Crucifixus & et Resurrexit). At times the choir’s excellent ensemble felt like the ebb and flow of the spring tides on Aldeburgh’s stony beach echoing seductively around the redbrick walls of the Maltings.

David Allsopp, counter-tenor, was awesome. Skillfully wrapped with the oboe d’amore obbligato (Qui sedes) his fine, silky voice demanded our whole attention and we gave it. Ben Hulett, tenor, sang in perfect unity with flute, cello and organ continuo (Benedictus). Derek Welton, bass and Julia Doyle, soprano both supported well.

The virtuoso and ensemble of the London Handel Orchestra, cleanly led by Adrian Butterfield, worked beautifully alongside both soloists and choir.

In all respects an absorbing and memorable performance.