Reviews 2014


Mozart: Coronation Mass
Handel: Coronation Anthems
Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks

Charter Hall, Colchester
1st February 2014

The University of Essex Choir and the London Handel Orchestra, under the determined direction of Richard Cooke, produced a strong and carefully wrought performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s Coronation Anthems and Music for the Royal Fireworks for a large and appreciative Colchester audience.

The Coronation Anthems gave the choir space to demonstrate their often excellent and sensitive interpretation of the sometimes curious text. Tight, precise and accurate choral ensemble was notably enriched by a fresh soprano sound in the Coronation anthems.

The London Handel Orchestra gave a vigorous and spirited performance of the Music for the Royal Fireworks. They expertly made the best of a challenging acoustic particularly in the two decorous and lilting Minuets and the romping Bourée.

In the Coronation Mass the orchestra responded vigorously to the energetic demands of both Mozart and their conductor Richard Cooke as they skilfully underlined some excellent singing from soloists and choir. Susanna Hurrell (soprano), Grace Durham (alto), Bradley Smith (tenor) and Dominic Sedgwick (bass) deservedly enjoyed themselves in often finely balanced, stylish and sensitive quartet performance. In particular Mozart’s Et incarnatus est and the final section of the Agnus Dei were passionately sung.

Overall the concert provided a platform for some excellent choral and solo ensemble, rich and evocative orchestral sounds and outstanding musical direction. The University of Essex Choir showcases conviction, musical integrity and careful attention to detail in their performances. This concert delivered on all counts.

Peter Newton