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Review: Oriole Singers, St Peter Mancroft, Norwich

PUBLISHED: 07:48 13 November 2017

St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich.

St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich.

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Review: The Oriole Singers staged a moving commemoration of the ending of the battle of Passchendaele, as Frank Cliff reports.

Friday’s lunchtime concert by The Oriole Singers marked the 100th anniversary of the ending of Passchendaele, one of the bloodiest campaigns of the First World War. The choir’s male voices, processing slowly down the nave singing “long long trail a-winding”, set the scene for the first half, ‘Songs of the Great War’; solos for the introductions, choir for the verses, ending with The Last Post, the whole sensitively performed, and deeply moving.

The second half was devoted to the first performance of Requiem for the Fallen, composed by the choir’s conductor, Martin Wyatt, with texts both ecclesiastical and secular, leading from a prayer for the fallen to hope for the future. Although an amalgam of earlier works by Wyatt, formally it seemed a perfect whole, the fine, sometimes searching, vocal writing performed with great sensitivity by both choir and solo voices.

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