Ilkley & Otley Choral Societies
Yet again, St Margaret’s in Ilkley was the venue for the Ilkley & Otley Choral Societies’ Spring Concert on 12 March. The programme comprised mainly well known works such that audience and performers were in their comfort zone; certainly not complacent – the choirs were very much on their mettle.
So where do we start? The Coronation Anthem, Zadok the Priest is a faithful work, well known to all and where would we be without Handel and George II? Probably bereft of monarchs as the work has been included in every coronation for almost 300 years. We were not short-
The next item in the programme featured baritone soloist, David Cane with the aria from Samson ‘The Glorious Deeds’ (Handel) whose rendition was well controlled with sympathetic expression and a pleasant timbre. This was followed by the tenor (Matt Mears) recit and aria “tis noon. Distressful nature fainting sinks”; the soloist’s skills appearing effortless as he was well equipped to resound throughout St Margaret’s Church with tonal accuracy.
The first half ended with the Vivaldi Gloria. Clearly well rehearsed and yes, so well known that most of the choir were able to watch the conductor most of the time -
After the interval, the second half started with another Coronation Anthem, Let thy Hand be strengthened another of Handel’s works for George II’s special bash in 1727. This is rarely performed; if I have heard it before, then my memory has failed me – but I would like to hear it again for the lovely harmonies and the richness of tone, particularly in the upper registers.
Christopher Rathbone (organist at St Margaret’s) then played the Allegretto from Bach’s Sonata in A.
The concert ended with Haydn’s Nelson Mass. Now this is a big sing by most standards but hey, we were not short-
Never attended an Ilkley & Otley concert? Then it’s high time you did.
Peter Harrison Ilkley Gazette 24th March 2016