Ensemble Polyfoon

MICHAEL DRAKE Norwich Cathedral

MICHAEL DRAKE

Monday's lunchtime concert by this 30-strong mixed choir might have marked the start of another 'twinning', for it was they who hosted the Norwich Cathedral Girls Choir's visit to Belgium last year.

The ensemble, whose musical accent is on the a cappella renaissance repertoire of less often performed pieces, showed fine balance and precision allied to a full, bright tone.

Flemish composer di Lassus's Lamentatio displayed these attributes, while sections from the Missa Si Ambulavero by de Monte showed much tonal variation, and if the Sanctus did not have the best of starts, the Agnus was beautifully placed.

In dealing with the more modern harmonies of Lajos Bardos and Alain de Ley, the ensemble was equally happy as both employed soaring soprano lines while the relative simplicity of Tavener's Song for Athene was sung with vocal reverence and a ringing climax.

Experienced singer Lieven Deroo conducted a very good choir which was most enjoyable to listen to and showed it could change character easily with a Rachmaninov encore.

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