Easter Choral Concert
MICHAEL DRAKE Houghton Hall
The Creakes Student Chorus and Sinfonia conducted by Robert Houssart gave a hugely exciting performance of one of Handel's most popular works.
The pre-cursor to that, Thomas Tomkins' lament “When David heard” for the 24-strong a capella choir, was, although precise and well-balanced, rather hearty and thus lost some of the pleading sensitivity it demands.
The conductor suggested that Dixit Dominus was virtually a “shop window” for what was to follow from Handel. What attack; what verve there was from the very first chord from the singers and (original) strings. Concentration, confidence and power were a tribute not only to the individual voices and instrumentalists but their course in general. This was a hugely exciting performance.
Included, too, was the minimalist John Adams' “Shaker Loops” - not many different notes but given a great musical discipline by the sinfonia in a highly-charged interpretation.