UEA Choir and Orchestra, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH A programme of 19th century instrumental and vocal music combined the unfamiliar and the less well-known with old favourites.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Under Sharon Choa and John Aplin the UEA Choir and Orchestra presented a programme of 19th century instrumental and vocal music at St Andrew's Hall that combined the unfamiliar and the less well-known with old favourites.

Gaining confidence as she went on, the soprano Meg Starling transported us back generations on the Wings of a Dove by Mendelssohn.

The same composer's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage overture gave the orchestra every chance to show its form, with some fine work from the flute and with pounding percussion for the finale. It was good — and in the best academic tradition — to turn next to the rarely-heard Beethoven cantata that had inspired Mendelssohn. It's quiet first section proved more satisfactory than the characteristically rather frantic conclusion.

The choir also performed sacred works by Brahms and Bruckner. They were mostly unaccompanied, but trombones added somewhat strident tone to the pomp of the latter's Behold a Mighty Priest before it tamely subsided into plainsong.

The singers were strong in attack and flexible in response, but tended to let their phrases peak a little too soon.

Most Read

Alex Demetriou was the confident piano soloist in Beethoven's Choral Fantasia. Though inevitably appearing to be something of a trial run for musical ideas destined for a grander future, it made a sprightly and attractively different conclusion.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter