CRUCIFIXUS March 24th 2013

 

POsterC16th &  C17th Choral  Polyphony

Musical Director JanJoost van Elburg

Continuo Robert Court and  Henrik Persson

SUNDAY 24 MARCH  6.30pm
Church of St John the Baptist
WELLINGTON    TA21 8QY

CONTRIBUTED REVIEW

Good church buildings deserve good music;  and good music deserves good performances!  Then good performances will get good audiences in spite of freezing wind;  all four of these came together for hundreds of people this weekend in the Wellington area with a rich variety of music to suit all tastes.

 Maybe because Easter happens to be so early this year, there was a lot more going on last weekend than usual.  Last Friday, there was piano recital in Milverton and on Saturday a good audience turned out for Wellington Choral Society’s performance of Elijah.  However my favourite was the Palm Sunday performance of early music for Easter by Blackdowns Early Music Projects.  Once again they brought singers here from many parts of Europe who gathered for the weekend to work on  and perform music by Lassus, Palestrina, Gabrieli, & Lotti in the first half of the concert.  Their theme, wholly suitable for the week preceding Easter was “Crucifixus”.

 We very much enjoyed two familiar versions of Lotti’s fabulous Crucifixus; surprisingly rich continuo was given by just a chamber organ as well as a dazzling bass violinist playing “pizzicato” in the 10-part version.  All the music was carefully chosen from the late renaissance and early baroque period, a theme leading up to the pinnacle of Venetian music with the Cavalli Requiem which filled the second half with exuberant choral sound.

 Special mention must be made of the way that the solo performances combined to make a really impressive contrast to the strength of the powerful double choir settings.  Particularly pleasing was the way that the choir responded to dynamic subtlety given by the director JanJoost van Elburg.  Obviously as with all live performances there were moments of tension due to the undoubted complexities of the music, but these were overcome very capably.  The appreciative audience left greatly uplifted for Easter week .

 The parish church in Wellington is exceptionally good as a performance venue for these sorts of events having comfortable flexible seating and all the facilities you need for an enjoyable evening out.  How lucky we are to have such excellent places to attract great performances into the area.

PROGRAMME

Crucifixus à 16      Caldara

Crucifixus à 8         Lotti

Crucifixus à 10       Lotti

Requiem                   Cavalli

Stabat Mater            Palestrina

Responsories           Lassus