MUSIC lovers in Kendal enjoyed an evening of song on Saturday thanks to Kendal South Choir, led by Geoffrey Field and accompanied by Andy Plowman at the organ, as well as soloist Emily Robinson.

The theme for the concert was to compare the settings of sacred and similar texts by Haydn and Mozart and each half ended with a Missa Brevis.

“It was in these that the choir sang with most conviction and clear enjoyment, dealing confidently with the varying moods and dynamics,” said reviewer Ian Jones.

“There were occasional difficulties with managing Haydn’s time changes and with some of the more chromatic passages in Mozart’s setting but there was a lovely use of the semi-chorus in this same work.

"In the Haydn one or two of the final ‘Amens’ were somewhat aggressive but this composer’s ‘Benedictus’ was particularly beautifully sung by Emily Robinson with enthusiastic ‘Hosannas’ from the choir!”

Mozart’s music was the theme for the music after the interval and the opening ‘Regina Coeli’ was ‘bright and rhythmic’, according to Mr Jones.

“With much enjoyable singing from the choir, particularly in the many ‘Alleluias’,” he said.

“This piece was one of several in the programme which gave Emily the opportunity to sing with great sensitivity and style. Her controlled use of vibrato, clear articulation and expressive dynamic range were most impressive and satisfying.

“Equally, in the earlier ‘Salve Regina’ by Haydn, she sang with delicacy and lightness of touch and the interplay between her and the choir was very pleasing.

The concert began with a ‘Non Nobis Domine’ by Haydn.

“This was perhaps not a wise choice to open proceedings; it took a while for everyone to relax into the variety of the pieces on offer,” said Mr Jones.

“Fortunately, Andy Plowman’s witty introduction to Haydn’s ‘Music for Mechanical Clock’ established the right mood to enjoy these extraordinary compositions which Andy played with his customary skill.

“Indeed, Andy was undoubtedly the hero of the evening. He played throughout either as sympathetic accompanist or as virtuosic soloist and always with a real understanding for the most appropriate registration.

“All of us involved with choral singing locally are hugely indebted to the many instrumentalists on whom we can call for accompaniment and Andy Plowman is one of the best! He and Emily combined for three delightful Mozart solos in which the balance between voice and organ was perfect.”

The concert closed with ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ from the soloist choir and organ.