Michael Chance and guests

MICHAEL DRAKE Norwich Cathedral

MICHAEL DRAKE

Michael Chance's performance on Saturday, February 7, was one of supreme vocal artistry with sustained tone, controlled phrasing, power and subtlety inextricably linked in a wide variety of music.

All those attributes were displayed in Bach's solo cantata Gott soll allein, set consistently high in the voice, with filigree organ accompaniment from Thomas Leech and a tidy UEA Chamber Ensemble.

The programme opened with Light Divine from the trumpet in Handel's Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, in which one of director Jeremy Jackman's regular choral groups, the Jay Singers, gave some well-defined singing, though less might have been lost in its transmission had it had the backing of the West End and this might also have helped the Ensemble, which was not always in complete harmony.

The Jays provided some joyous sounds in William Harris's motet for double choir Bring Us O Lord and, while some of the vocal painting in Frank Martin's Songs from Ariel lacked precision, the choir slotted the excerpt from Geoffrey Poole's Wymondham Chant into the ambience of the piece and the surroundings.

Voices from Viva Voce augmented more emphatic projection in Tony Hewitt Jones's Seven Sea Poems, with Michael Chance again using the musical undercurrents to advantage in a work full of rhythm and movement. This, perhaps, was the essence of the whole.

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