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Review: The Sixteen at Norwich Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 11:07 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:07 15 May 2018

NNF18 - The Sixteen. Photo: Simon Jay Price

NNF18 - The Sixteen. Photo: Simon Jay Price

Simon Jay Price

With its rich spectrum of tone and total confidence in every complexity, The Sixteen, Harry Christophers’ famous small choir, lived up to its high reputation in Monday’s concert that attracted a capacity audience to Norwich Cathedral.

In a programme of unaccompanied sacred and secular music from the 16th century and the present age the opportunity was taken to include some works with local connections.

So as well as finely controlled performances of Thomas Tallis’s beautifully austere anthems we heard his settings of verses from the Psalter by Matthew Parker, the Norwich-born archbishop. Thomas Morley was Norfolk’s representative in a group of madrigals that lightened the generally serious tone.

With a convincing switch in style the singers put vigour and passion into the spirituals from A Child of Our Time, Tippett’s anti-fascist oratorio. They were agile and energetic too in the Choral Dances that were performed originally in Norwich Guildhall in Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana.

Christopher Smith

• The performance by The Sixteen was part of this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival. For your daily guide to festival events click here

• For all the latest festival news and reviews click here

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