The Sine Nomine Choir

CHRISTOPHER SMITH St Thomas' Church, Norwich


St Thomas' Church, Norwich

Bach, tuneful and playfully arranged for unaccompanied voices gave the dozen members of Matthew Wright's Sine Nomine Choir a chance to warm up their vocal chords and get into a relaxed mood for this summer evening concert.

Next came three folk songs in versions by Alan Bullard. With a knowing tone and some crisp phrasing, the singers told the exploits of The Brisk Young Widow. The mood switched from the melancholy of the traditional Willow Song. Then, with the men leading the way, it was all change again, back to a more cheerful style.

Adieu, Suite Amaryllis was the most successful in a group of five madrigals. Each of the parts made its own contribution, often in echoing phrases, and there was an attractive feeling of control throughout.

A touch more vigour and some fine tunes brought out the best of the singers Linden Lea and a group of sturdy Northumbrian songs, in settings by Ron Watson, the choir's former director.

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He also played two compositions of his own. The Elegy for Herbert Howells as an elegant tribute, and a clever use of the deep notes on the pedals. Suite for Mrs Thing was altogether more cheerful. In it Watson contrasted five short pieces showing different facets of his instrument. A lyric passage made all the more impact after the thrill of the trumpet stop, and dance rhythms added a nice touch of celebration.

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