Mostly Mozart, Harleston

FRANCES HART An ambitious programme resulted in a remarkable achievement for the Harleston Choral Society, a community choir now two years old.

FRANCES HART

An ambitious programme resulted in a remarkable achievement for the Harleston Choral Society, a community choir now two years old.

Mozart's Requiem was written at the height of the composer's powers. He died, just 35, leaving it to his pupil Sussmayr to finish. The collaboration detracts in no way from its enjoyment, and the five soloists would be hard to better.

The rich, burnished soprano of Fiona Hammacott graced both the Requiem and the meltingly lovely Laudate Dominum from Mozart's Solemn Vespers. A contrastingly high lyric sound from Trudie Saunders made light work of the fiendish No, di voi, in which Handel recycled some of the scenes from his Messiah. Alto Vera Chapman spun long, tranquil phrases, but she had no opportunity to be heard as a soloist.


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Tenor Howard Robinson shone particularly in the Requiem's Tuba Mirum where he and cavernous bass Alastair Chapman set the echoes ringing. The trombone of Dave Scragg added a beautifully judged extra dimension.

The contributors were completed by Stella Brownsea, indispensable as timpanist in the Requiem and organist Malcolm Russell. Conductor Anne Gree created the whole. If the choir's forte singing at St John's Church sometimes lacked tone quality, and if there were sometimes uncertainty of tuning and lapses of synchronisation, these were small prices to pay.

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