COMMENTS AND A REVIEW OF OUR PERFORMANCE OF HAYDN’S THE SEASONS
Sunday 30 November 2014
Comments overheard from audience members on their way out:
“Wonderful” “Superb” “Bloody good!”
“Was the soprano mic’d?” “No.” Well she’s got an amazing voice” (that’s Catherine Hamilton of course)
“Really powerful, so good” “I loved it”
“Really, really good. I really enjoyed this evening”
“I thoroughly enjoyed it”
REVIEW BY PHILIP R BUTTALL FOR THE HERALD
Plymouth Philharmonic Choir: Haydn’s Seasons
PLYMOUTH Philharmonic Choir, under conductor Christopher Fletcher, had clearly put in a lot of effort over the last few months not only to rehearse a work that is both challenging and long, but then to perform it with such aplomb.
There was so much to applaud here in the choir’s vigorous singing, which nicely captured the various nuances of Haydn’s writing and tone painting, both its humour and pathos.
Soloists Catherine Hamilton, pictured, and Andrew Mahon were in fine voice, too, in concerted and solo numbers alike, and where Paul Foster’s effectively-inventive harpsichord continuo – albeit of the electronic variety – made a particularly telling contribution in the recitatives.
In a work that celebrates the achievements of the Almighty, especially through nature and the weather, it was largely inevitable that one or two unscripted acts of God would perhaps make their presence felt on the night.
Tenor Philip Pooley had to stand in for the indisposed Richard Rowntree at the very last minute, the Guildhall sound system decided to play up with some random noise effects in the first half, and the otherwise excellent orchestra did seem to find establishing initial tempi unusually challenging at times.
But the choir’s performance still had all the necessary power and conviction to override any such hindrances, and fully deserved the generous ovation at the end of a particularly long evening’s music-making.