Choir of St George's Cathedral, Norwich
MICHAEL DRAKE In the words of artistic director Peter Bolton it was the embodiment of the relationship of Norwich's twinning with Novi Sad as the choir from St George's Cathedral returned to our Norwich Cathedral.
In the words of artistic director Peter Bolton it was the embodiment of the relationship of Norwich's twinning with Novi Sad as the choir from St George's Cathedral returned to our Norwich Cathedral.
It was always going to be an emotional event too and the music added to that emotion.
Their sound is not so refined as that of English choirs, but the warm richness, especially from alto and bass sections last evening, in a largely 19th century middle-European spiritual programme was a delight to the ear, with the whole choir being disciplined and balanced.
Fine legato lines and dynamic control in Bless Oh Lord, My Soul led to a joyous, and unexpected, final “Alleluia”.
Using his whole body in animated fashion, conductor Bogdan Djakovic invariably obtained response and while Ronald Watson's Gracious Spirit was impressive, Tavener's Song for Athene lost pitch and thus a little of its reverence but there was a fine climax before the final chant.
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Nenad Ristovic, a stylish, light tenor cantor in a Serbian Requiem, kept beautifully in tune in the long chanting phrases backed by choral responses with particularly emotional, ensemble singing in the central section.
The final group may not have been as subtle but it was the sound we expected to hear — uninhibited, full-blooded choral joy to end a concert of friendship.