This latest concert from Malcolm Goldring’s enthusiastic and committed Midlands Festival Chorus brought an extra interest with the support of the period-instrument orchestra Rejouissance.
Originally founded in 1991 to specialise in French and Italian music of the 18th century, Rejouissance has since widened its performance repertoire, and given its contribution to this MFC concert of Bach and Mozart, it’s been a great success.
Rejouissance provided terrific support in Bach’s Magnificat, the gut strings lending a wonderful warmth and beauty to aria sections and the continuo accompaniment being particularly well judged.
Goldring’s keen movements on the podium were full of vitality and life, but it was a disappointment he wasn’t able to coax similar qualities from his choir. Marshalling a number of over two-hundred is a tall order, but the chorus needed greater clarity in their rhythm and enunciation, and more drama in their delivery.
This persisted through Mozart’s Great C Minor Mass, but the performance was aided by solid contributions from the vocal soloists. Victoria Simmonds’s intense mezzo, and soprano Claire Ormshaw’s excellent Et Incarnatus Est stood out particularly.
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