Norwich Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra and Choir of Musik-Institut Koblenz

MICHAEL DRAKE St Andrew's Hall, Norwich


St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

The final concert of Norwich Philharmonic Society's season yesterday evening, in a continuation of the long-established series of musical exchanges, saw the stage overflowing with instrumentalists and singers.

After a percussive opening, Schubert's Rosamunde Over-ture settled into the composer's tunefulness, from woodwind in particular. Not that Beethoven was averse to a tune or two in his Symphony No 8 in F and the orchestra (leader, Dominic Hopkins), conducted by Tom Seligman quickly correcting a small patch of untidiness, musically made light of many passages. But they were also able to make powerful interjections confidently and then enjoyed the Beethovian fun of the Scherzo, whilst harmonious horns had their share of it in the next movement. This was the precursor to a lively finale, precisely handled by an orchestra in fine form.

In the second half, Schubert's Mass in A flat, with the combined forces now conducted by David Dunnett, lacked impact to start with, as did the quartet of soloists. But was this just to prepare the listener for the exciting Gloria? The Credo followed in the same exultant vein until the Et Incarnatus centrepiece was reached. Not always does a Mass out of liturgical setting have a big impact - this one did.

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