Eversley Choir, St Matthew Passion, Capernwray Hall

A BEAUTIFUL day, outshone by a stunning performance, writes Brenda Bentley.

Three choirs, two orchestras, amazing soloists, both choral and instrumental and a stout-hearted conductor holding it all together.

With eyes closed and seated near the open windows, you would be forgiven to think that you were experiencing an ‘open-air’ concert, with the smooth entry from the orchestra, a gentle breeze and the muted bleating of sheep.

The initial chorus showed brilliantly precise and confident entries. Similarly, the slightly more tricky ‘Is it I’ entries were well balanced and thoughtfully executed.

Changing the mood, enhanced by the sympathetic orchestra, the choir presented a moving chorus with wonderful articulation, clear diction and well-balanced harmonies.

As the first part draws to a close, the Lightning’s and Thunders crashed into play with power and animation of voice and facial expression. It was clear that the choir were living in the moment and portrayed the necessary emotion to the audience. An effective structure of the two choirs standing/seated held the attention of the audience.

Interval conversations were buzzing with praise on every level. People were keen for the performance to resume.

The oboe, violin and cello players from each orchestra accompanied the soloists with similar passion and superb technique. What a shame they could not be applauded at the end of their respective solo.

There was a smooth transition of speed and a new ‘mood’ evolved for O Lord Who Dares To Smite Thee.

A bravo to the choir soloists who interjected as different characters at various points throughout the performance.

The interchange of power and passion was delivered with energy and soul for each entry. Powerful, dynamic entries for His Blood Be On Our Children showed both anger and passion and transferred this beautifully to the audience.

O Sacred Head Sore Wounded was simply beautiful. Thought provoking and well phrased. People singing from the heart and transferring the lamenting message to the audience perfectly.

A rousing finale ensued. Bright, animated faces, showing the amazing stamina shown by all who took part in a performance which professional choirs would have been proud.

A huge thank you for a very communicative and passionate performance, which seemed to encompass many strands of musicianship that were cleverly transferred between the participants and audience.

Here’s to the next performance…

‘Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.’ Plato