City of London Sinfonia

ALISON CROOSE King's Lynn Corn Exchange

ALISON CROOSE

King's Lynn Corn Exchange

The December concert in the orchestra's season at Lynn has become a much-anticipated pre-Christmas treat, especially as the CLS are past-masters at surprise packages. Instead of the usual overtly seasonal programme with much carolling, their parcel was made up largely of works with more subtle Christmas associations.

The occasion was given distinction with internationally-renowned Richard Hickox, the CLS music director, on the conductor's podium. There was a warm welcome, too, for the Joyful Company of Singers who regularly contribute much to this seasonal event.

The programme opened with Rossini's overture to the classic fairy tale La Cenerentola (Cinderella), followed by Wagner's more sombre Siegfried Idyll.

The choir then performed a delightful group of pieces for Advent and Christmas including David Willcocks' The Cherry Tree Carol and O come, O come Emmanuel.

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The main work was Benjamin Britten's Saint Nicholas. With the part of Nicholas sung by the distinguished tenor Robert Tear and with the choir extended by “distant voices”, the work was given a dramatic and impressive performance.