Help for Heroes Concert

Christopher SmithWymondham AbbeyChristopher Smith

Help for Heroes Concert, Wymondham Abbey

Wymondham Abbey was filled to bursting for a concert in aid of Help for Heroes. It opened with Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. This stirring tribute was played by the Norwich Citadel Band of the Salvation Army.

Under Richard Woodrow, it went on to perform James Curnow's aptly titled Jubilation with its reminiscences of American spirituals. Dudley Bright's Confrontations was a substantial tone-poem designed to convey the hard-fought triumph of good over evil.

Conducted by Philip Simms, the London-based Tallis Choir sang I was Glad, Hubert Parry's fine coronation anthem. After the soaring acclamations, the heart-felt prayer for peace and prosperity took on particular significance.

Quieter, more reflective, with real emotion and a little drama, but nothing theatrical, Maurice Durufle's Requiem was a good choice for the second half of the programme.

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The singers were thoroughly at home in a style owing much to traditional church chant. Restraint was the key to their interpretation, though they added touches of extra colour and warmth where needed. The organist Michael Bowden made a vital contribution, selecting his stops with taste and imagination.

In conclusion, the Last Post, sounded by Flight Sergeant Adam White of the Air Training Corps, reminded us why we were all there.

Christopher Smith