Bigger Sky

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Norfolk and Norwich Festival event at Norwich Cathedral


Sweetness of tone and composed smiling serenity added vital dimensions to a delightful concert.

Everything was performed unaccompanied and from memory, with heads up and every eye focused on the expressive hands and lithe body of the director Sian Croose.

The singers knew how to express both calm confidence and an infectious sense of deep enjoyment as they produced rich sound with never a hint of strain.

The tuneful first half of the programme was presented by Big Sky, the smaller original group.

Borrowed from a variety of traditions, from the United States and the Caucasus, from Finland and Bengal, their songs expressed a certain idealism, a sense of oneness with nature and mankind that found reflection in the harmonies of music.

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Augmented forces, rather wittily called Bigger Sky, came together for the premiere of Letters To The World. The composer of this festival commission was Karen Wimhurst. For inspiration she had turned to the American 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson.

Dickinson's quirkiness was set aside to find a kernel of passion and personal assertion.

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