Review: Alexander’s Feast, Wymondham Abbey

Wymondham Choral Society. picture: Paul Hurst

Wymondham Choral Society. picture: Paul Hurst - Credit: Archant

In the Abbey the Wymondham Choral Society under Claire Dixon made its contribution to the town's fortnight-long festival with a lively performance of Handel's Alexander's Feast.

Depicting the great conqueror's celebrations after defeating Persia, the oratorio evokes a great variety of moods.

First setting the scene, tenor Daniel Joy, like soprano Catherine May, then convincingly caught the spirit of the lively sequence of changing emotions, but baritone Andrew McWilliams seemed rather too restrained in his famous show-piece aria.

Led by Madeleine Pickering and bringing characteristic instrumental colour to the climaxes, the Amadeus Orchestra was always alert and bright-toned as it accompanied the soloists and the chorus. Its 60 voices came in again and again to echo the warrior's praise of wine, his love for the fair Thais and the remorse that sometimes haunted him.

Finally came the resonant conclusion with all the singers praising Cecilia, the patron saint of music.


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