Keswick Hall Choir

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Norwich Cathedral

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

> Norwich Cathedral

Just a few days before the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, a large audience responded with enthusiasm to a concert made up of some of his most triumphant sacred music.

It was performed by John Aplin's Keswick Hall Choir, accompanied, at times a shade too heartily, by the Academy of St Thomas orchestra under its leader Paul Clarke. David Dunnett played the chamber organ.

Celebrating heroic Christian example, the Solemn Vespers of a Confessor came across as festive music. The chorus responded with unflagging zeal, perhaps showing rather more commitment to the notes than to the words.

Mozart's masterstroke was to convey a few moments of blissful tranquillity just before the end. Unforced, steady and clear, soprano Angharad Gruffydd Jones captured the mood against a delicate instrumental background.

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Another soprano, Nicki Kennedy, was called on to adopt quite a different style in “Exsultate, jubilate”. She confidently negotiated all the twists and turns of this famous solo's elaborate ornaments and proclaimed her success with a ringing top note.

Adopting his grandest manner in his Mass in C minor, Mozart invented great moments for the chorus and two soprano soloists. These opportunities were not wasted in an interpretation that had both strength and the power to move.

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