English Sinfonia, King's Lynn

How rewarding to find the King's Lynn Festival Chorus encouraging the next generation of singers as youngsters from West Norfolk Youth Choir, St Martha's Primary and Sandringham and West Newton VA schools made their selected contributions to Sunday's Choral Concert at King's Lynn Corn Exchange, under inspired conductor Michael Kibblewhite.

By MICHAEL DRAKE

How rewarding to find the King's Lynn Festival Chorus encouraging the next generation of singers as youngsters from West Norfolk Youth Choir, St Martha's Primary and Sandringham and West Newton VA schools made their selected contributions to Sunday's Choral Concert at King's Lynn Corn Exchange, under inspired conductor Michael Kibblewhite.

They must have found the difficult acoustic hard to deal with and, despite well balanced singing, early items failed to project a real spirituality although Purcell's Come Ye Sons Of Art, given a staccato opening, gained much from the fine brass of English Sinfonia.

Leader Janice Graham was joined by Sarah Ewins in Bach's Double Violin Concerto in a most thoughtful performance with the ES accompanying and answering but never overpowering the soloists.

The main choral work in the concert, sponsored by Dow Chemicals, Haydn's Theresienmesse, started with a dramatic Kyrie and solo quartet – Gillian Keith, a clear soprano, Louise Poole, a rich mezzo, Mark Dobell with his easy tenor voice, Hakan Vramsmo, a warm baritone – moving to a confident and well projected Gloria.

The ES was sympathetic to the cause but, as is often the case, the Benedictus section of masses is the most satisfying spiritually and musically. This one was no exception, chorus answering soloists with feeling until an impassioned Nonna Nobis brought the mass to an animated conclusion.

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