Press & Publicity 2010

Concerts are regularly reviewed in the Bournemouth Echo, New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times

Reviews from the Bournemouth Echo, The Lymington Times & New Milton Advertiser.

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July 2010 - Durufle Requiem - Brahms Liebeslieder - Borodin Polovtsian Dances

Daniel Cook certainly put together a varied and entertaining programme . . . with choral works from the 19th and 20th centuries interspersed with popular solos from Abigail Hooper (mezzo-soprano) and husband Richard (baritone), and a variety of two- and four- handed combinations at the piano.

. . . Durufle's 1947 Requiem . . . less commonly sung . . . partly because it really is quite difficult in places . . . the choir seemed unfazed by its challenges. In some of the climactic moments . . . they brought a fervour which was both appropriate and moving; . . . The tender and exquisite 'Pie Jesu' was a gem, sung at short notice by the young soprano Calypso Hetherington, with the haunting cello obligato played by Amanda De Jong Gleyndert.

In the second half . . . the choir sang Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes.  . . these pieces (18 in all), do not show the master at his best by any means. . . . Much of the interest lies in the piano accompaniment . . their final piece, the robust and exciting Polovtsian Dances . . .  With additional percussion played by Dan Priest and Max Doohan . . this provided a dramatic conclusion to the evening, the choir sang superbly, with a good clear tone where the music was melodious, and throwing themselves with unstinted vigour into the well-known refrain that makes this piece so popular. Special mention must be made of the evening's accompanists. The ever-versatile Ian Wicks . . . and he even sang a short tenor solo. Joanne Corbin is a key figure in the local musical scene . . . nobody could have failed to notice her accompaniment of the evening's finale . . . Her playing was an absolute tour de force! Derek Baldwin (edited quote)


April 2010 - Sir George Dyson The Canterbury Pilgrims

Grange gamble pays off. The Grange Choral Society is to be warmly congratulated for taking a bit of a gamble in presenting a major work by the undeservedly neglected Sir George Dyson and for making it a tremendous success.

Dyson's traditional English outlook embraces a very fine ear for orchestral colour and word setting that gives The Canterbury Pilgrims . . . a lucid appeal.

The choral singing was of the usual high standard and if there was a degree of competition in a couple of the high powered episodes, this was all part of the drama so effectively directed by Daniel Cook. A neat touch emphasised the pilgrimage with tenor Hugh Hetherington entering down the central aisle.

His characterisations were superbly made, the dour Doctor of Physic ending on a marvellous humour to the love of gold.

Robert Evans, baritone, secured supple execution in the brass-laden, self important solemn tread of the Sergeant of the Law and in the upbeat Franklin's rich orchestral palette with Elgarian flourish.

The Wife of Bath, deliciously sung by soprano Augusta Hebbert, was lightly accompanied and performed with boisterous good humour enjoying the seductive implications.

This is a fascinating work fully meriting the considerable effort put into this remarkable performance. Mike Marsh (edited quote) 

January 2010 - Bach Christmas Oratorio

Uplifting oratorio. Just when you thought the festive season was over, up pops Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

The glorious sound of the society and orchestra . . . embraced the uplifting opening chorus and performed the chorales with harmonious integrity.

Soloists were soprano Cecilia Osmond with strongly performed arias . . . Alto Andrew Stewart was especially effective in one of Bach's most tender arias, Slumber Beloved, while tenor Thomas Hobbs occupied the sustaining role of narrator with euphonious grace and bass Julian Empett's Mighty Lord and King of Glory was powerfully wrought.

The orchestra (leader Brian Howells) were superbly supportive with baroque trumpets adding impressive sparkle. Mike Marsh (edited quote)

. . . Like the numerous other cantatas which it was Bach's duty to compose and perform, these contain a mixture of narrative recitatives, solo arias, instrumental interludes and chorales in addition to the more extended choral movements.

The four vocal soloists were all outstanding. . . . From the simple chorales to the more extended choral sections, the choir sung with their usual commitment and fervour. . . . The orchestra's contribution throughout was both vital and outstanding. The use of baroque instruments - particularly the oboes d'amore and the piccolo trumpets - brings out Bach's superb writing in a way that modern instruments cannot do.

. . . From my seat it did feel as if this concert didn't quite generate the level of enthusiastic response from the Grange's regular audience which their concerts mostly do. It never quite 'caught fire'. I suspect this had more to do with the music itself than with the performance.

. . . For their next concert in April the society breaks altogether less familiar ground with 'The Canterbury Pilgrims', . . . music by George Dyson . . . It will be an occasion not to be missed. Derek Baldwin (edited quote)


© Grange Choral Society 2013
 Registered Charity: 104590 President: Neil Jenkins MA CANTAB   
Vice President: Anita Hansen