Koblenz Musik Institut, Norwich Phil.Ch.

MICHAEL DRAKE St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

MICHAEL DRAKE

With civic recognition, this weekend concert celebrated the 20th anniversary of the cultural twinning of the two choirs and the occasion was marked with a stirring performance of Haydn's popular work The Creation.

The excellent Chameleon Arts Orchestra (leader Simon Baggs) noted nationwide for its work with such societies, immediately set an atmospheric overture and with conductor David Dunnett always retaining the momentum without letting it run away, the playing and singing provided no little spiritual depth also.

Singing in the original German, the combined 150 or more voices often made a thrilling sound – joyous in Awake the Harp for example; convincing in Achieved is the Glorious Work.

The Chorus was joined by local born soprano Harriet Fraser, confident and projecting well, particularly in the delightfully painted With Verdure Clad aria, confident and projecting well (and even more clearly defined after the interval), the lightly voiced tenor Rupert Jennings, full of subtle vocal contrasts and a clearly authoritative bass in Edward Price.

Together they were well matched in the trios surrounding the emphatic

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The Heavens are Telling choruses.

Soprano and bass soloists also sang with particular feeling as Adam and Eve in their reflective duet.

Vollendet ist das grosse Werk sang the combined forces with conviction.

No doubt about it – achieved was the glorious work.

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