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Young join memorable night

PUBLISHED: 16:02 02 April 2001 | UPDATED: 15:04 22 October 2010

Keswick Hall Choir @ Norwich Cathedral

Keswick Hall Choir @ Norwich Cathedral

By CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Passiontide brings the best out of composers, and under John Aplin the Keswick Hall Choir was on top form for an inspiring concert of unaccompanied music, ancient and modern, that caught the mood of the season.

With an almost Netherlandish mellow richness of tone and confident ensemble that did not preclude touches of personality in individual voices, Gesualdo's Responsories for Tenebrae came across full of Lenten emotion. So did the intense O Crux, though written more than three centuries later by the Norwegian Knut Nystedt.

The idiom changed for the Fayrfax Carol by Thomas Adès, the medieval text and the vigour of its treatment contrasting provocatively with the theme.

For the premiere of Paul Johnson's The Angels, Keswick Young Voices, directed by Beverley Downes, joined for the first time with the senior choir in an attractive work built on hymn tunes and passages from Scripture. Apart from rather too obvious an echo of William Walton, the blend of a variety of styles was successful, and the well-sustained children's voices added a new hue to the tonal range.

Sombre in magnificence, Victoria's 1605 Requiem was given an interpretation that left listeners moved and grateful.


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