St Edward’s Singers Choral Concert

‘And now for something completely different’… following the success of last term’s Invocation project, the Chapel Choirs and St Edward’s Singers returned to more familiar ground for their concert in April, singing Pergolesi/Durante’s Magnificat and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Star turns were made by Tom Montgomery and Myles Docherty, singing ‘For behold, darkness shall cover the earth… the people that walked in darkness’ from Handel’s Messiah and ‘Am abend … Mache dich, mein Herze, rein’ from Bach’s St Matthew Passion, respectively. All of this was accompanied by a professional orchestra, under the baton of Mr Creed.

The Magnificat is in lots of ways a straightforward setting of that familiar text. There is controversy over its composer, it being thought ‘too good’ to be by Durante (Pergolesi’s teacher) for a long time. It’s now mostly agreed to be by Durante, though, and is a jolly, well-balanced little piece. Two movements are in duet form, sung by pupils: ‘Et misericordia’ sung by Ottilie Gee (soprano) and Carolina Rimoldi (alto) and ‘Suscepit Israel’ sung by Tom Montgomery (bass) and Tomas Magnusson (tenor).

Vivaldi’s Gloria is a more familiar work, a choral society staple. It was written when Vivaldi was employed at the Ospedale della Pieta  in Venice, most probably for performance by the orphan girls that comprised its student body. There are a number of solo or duet movements: ‘Laudamus te’ sung by Sassy Hammersley and Ella Davis (sopranos), ‘Domine deus’ sung by Rose Adams (soprano), ‘Domine Deus, Agnus dei’ sung by Eva Cottingham-Mayall (mezzo-soprano) and ‘Qui sedes ad dexteram patris’, sung by Emma Measey (mezzo-soprano).

The concert was a great success, showing the choirs’ ability to take on music in a more familiar idiom, as well as that of a more avant-garde flavour last term.

Tom Watkins

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