UEA Choir and Orchestra c

CHRISTOPHER SMITH St Andrew's Hall, Norwich


St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

The trumpeter Leonidas Vlachos brought confident panache and bold tone to the strikingly original scoring of Honegger's King David that gave the wind players and percussionists of the UEA Symphony Orchestra a host of opportunities for scene painting and changing situations.

Conductor Howard Williams had less success in drawing equally convincing interpretations from the other performers under his command.

Unfortunately neither narrators were quite at ease in these roles. Looking for naturalism and relaxed manner, they could not find the right tone of voice or command events as they unfolded. Little episodes of character acting came across a lot better.

Of the three soloists, the soprano Bibi Heal was the most impressive vocally. But, like Eleanor White and the tenor Andrew O'Brien, she had difficulty getting her words across, though she was singing in English.

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Peter Aston's edition of Monteverdi's Dixit Dominus opened the concert. After a crisp start there were some uneasy moments, and single strings were not quite enough accompaniment.

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