An evening on the eve of war...

Harpenden Choral Society presented a riveting concert of works by Bridge, Holst, Barber and Haydn in the High St Methodist Church on Saturday entitled On The Eve Of War.

The capacity audience applauded with zeal to excellent music making by the choir accompanied by the King’s Sinfonietta.

Soloists Alice Privett, soprano, Helen Johnson, mezzo-soprano, Chris Turner, tenor, and Andrew Mahon, bass, together with Roger Carter, organ, all performed stupendously well and were very well balanced as a group.

The choir’s ability to project good dynamics and phrasing was admirable. The large membership sang with spirit and enthusiasm throughout; there was no doubt that this was a most successful and enjoyable occasion.

The first part focussed on events in the 20th century. A Prayer, by Bridge, was exhilarating, and both organ and strings supported the choir well.


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Barber’s work, Adagio, was engaging with excellent ensemble from the string orchestra. Holst’s setting of Psalms 86 and 148 elicited wonderful diction from the choir.

Composed on the eve of the Napoleonic wars, Haydn’s Missa in Augustiis, Nelson Mass, was perfection. The choir was confident and enthusiastic and once again diction was prominently good. Conductor John Andrews was faultless.

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Here is a group who deserve high praise for the fantastic results they produce.

NEIL BUICK

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