Monday, 1 August 2011

Music for Brass, Organ and Choir St Margaret's Church Topsham Saturday 23 July

Just a quick word about a delightful choral concert in Topsham last Saturday.
St Margaret's Church Choir sang a range of baroque anthems and songs, from Thomas Tallis' 'If ye love me keep my commandments' to Ralph Waghan Williams' 'Old 100th'. (Audience participation please!) The audience also participated in the final number - Handel's mighty 'Hallelujah Chorus'.

Interspersed were some gems of baroque trumpet, played by two members of the Devon Brass Ensemble, Geoff Cloke and Paul Thomas. The concert opened with Charpentier's Trumpet Tune from the 'Te Deum', which was closely followed by a baroque concerto by Petronio Franceschini. The second half also opened with a baroque concerto for two trumpets by Francesco Manfredini. Paul gave a beautiful solo perfromance of David Ogden's 'Christ has no body' and Geoff followed that with Bach's 'Wachet auf'

Everything was held together by the organ playing of Robert Millington, who also gave a solo performance - of Henri Mulet's 'Tu es Petras'.

The choir, although small in numbers, sang with spirit under the direction of their conductor Tony Yeates. The last word must go to Tony, who wrote this open letter to the 'Classical Journey' singing the praises of the singers.

Exemplary Concert

Last night's concert with Geoff, Paul and Bob was so good that it was a good example of what a parish choir ought to be. The unaccompanied items were sensitively sung, in tune and with clear diction. "God is a spirit" was specially mentioned by several people I spoke to afterwards. With Bob's excellent accompaniment we achieved buoyancy in "Thou visitest" and both style and power in "Blessed be the God". Bob's French organ piece was a tour de force. You're not likely to hear it from me! The trumpets added extra sparkle to the evening: it was great to hear two Baroque concertos for two trumpets. "Old 100th" and "Hallelujah" were terrific culminations of each half, with excellent audience participation. Very many thanks to all who took part and more thank to everyone who helped with refreshments.
Put 17th September in your diaries now: Paul Morgan, with us singing four big 20th century anthems. Do come on Sunday mornings through the summer - 9-30 for 10 a.m.
Thanks again. - Tony Y.

Paul Thomas
Geoff Cloke

Robert Millington

Tony Yeates conducts St Margaret's Church Choir

Among the tenors - woodwind player Philip Henry

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