Gresham's School, Holt

>Gresham's School, Holt

What a joy to listen to this outstanding group of 20 so-talented young singers last evening.

It is not always that such an ensemble makes a real choir but director Mike Brewer instilled in Laudibus such musical discipline and character in a programme largely based on verses from the Song of Solomon that there is no question of the integrity of that noun.

His body language also showed continuously how much he enjoys working with them - and making them work.

Laudibus is very democratic too, with many voices being heard in solo sections in Francis Grier's atmospheric and wonderfully harmonic Dilectus meus which followed Bouzignac's pretty and energetic vocal subtleties - which easily overcame a dry acoustic - and the beauty of a Walton anthem and the clarity of a Bach motet.

The most expansive (and vocally taxing) work of the evening, again from France, was Daniel-Lesur's Cantique de Cantiques - in effect seven love songs unique in character.

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Gallic, though not overly romantic, of that there was little doubt. And they were precisely sung but powerful, passionate and colourful in execution.

An evening of outstanding expertise ended with classic gospel and rhythmic songs. Laudibus' return was the most requested of all artists - plus encore please.

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