Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Clyst Valley Choral Society Joseph Haydn's "Creation" St Margaret's Topsham Saturday 4 May, Holy Trinity Exmouth Sunday 5 May 2019

Clyst Valley Choral Society
Joseph Haydn: "Creation"
Holy Trinity Exmouth
Sunday 5 May

Musical Director: Paul Stock
On a balmy spring evening, a small and enthusiastic gathering of musicians breathed life and joy into Joseph Haydn's epic biblical oratorio, "Creation". In a perfect closing performance for their fiftieth anniversary year and their Musical Director's twentieth, Paul Stock's Clyst Valley Choral Society shared Haydn's spectacular work with feeling and energy.

Clarinet: Phil Bonser
Sally Bull led the small orchestra with Chris Gould who, as always doubled as trumpeter. Rebecca Jackson continues her sterling work as second violin with Deborah Hamilton joining as violist. Sue Stock plays 'cello and is a major organising force for these events. The wind section comprises Clare Rackham playing flute, Julia Hill oboe and Phil Bonser clarinet. All contributed their deliciously delicate sound to the many moving arias in the piece.

Tympani/Bass Trombone:
Ben Lund-Conlon
For the rousing choruses there was the ever reliable Ben Lund-Conlon, not only providing percussion on the tympani but also playing magnificent bass trombone cadenzas as well. In the organ loft, the quiet and self-effacing Mark Perry supplied the subtle and reliable continuo - while his wife Nicky Perry sang in the choir.

Raphael: Jason Bomford
Uriel: Gordon Pike
Gabriel: Janet Macdonald
Three splendid soloists joined the choir to perform the recitatives and arias, as
well as sing in the choruses. Sadly the choir's regular alto soloist Myriam Prual was unable to take part, but did come with family to enjoy the music with everyone else. Soprano Janet Macdonald gave a brilliant performance alongside two equally impressive singers from Exeter Cathedral Choir. While Janet was the Archangel Gabriel, Tenor Gordon Pike was Uriel and Jason Bomford delivered the words of Raphael in a splendid bass voice.

"In the Beginning"
Jason Bomford
"God saw the Light"
Gordon Pike
From an initial intriguing representation of chaos by the orchestra followed the opening words of Hebrew Scripture delivered with clarity and arresting energy by Jason and Gordon. "The Earth was without form and void . . . and God said, Let There Be Light!" with Haydn's additional lyrics the familiar story unfolded in heroic style. By the Second Day, Janet had joined the fray with Haydn's ethereal vaults resounding to the praise of God.

"The Marvellous Work Behold"
Janet Macdonald
Green grass, fragrant herbs, lights to
lighten the day and the night, everything was praised in music, culminating at the end of Part 1 with a chorus and trio, "The heavens are telling the Glory of God."

"In Long Dimension Creeps
with Sinuous Trace - The Worm!"
Jason Bomford
In Part 2 Janet introduced the creatures of the oceans and the dry land, each grandly described by Jason. The eagle aloft, the merry lark, the tender dove, the immense leviathan, the tawny lion - and the flexible tiger. No less important, the nimble stag and meek and bleating flocks and swarming hosts of insects. Last but by no means least - The Worm!

"This World so Great"
Keith & Sandra Wadlan
For the final appearance of humankind, Keith and Sandra Wadlan left their places in the choir and stepped up to the pulpit to sing the parts of Adam and Eve, "O bounteous Lord . . . we praise thee now and evermore." With the creation of Heaven and Earth compete, it only remained for the choir (with the three Archangels) to round off the story with more rapturous praise of the Creator, "Jehovah's praise for ever shall endure. Amen. Amen."

Celebrating 50 years
of music and 30 years
of collaboration
Conductor: Paul Stock
The choir will return to more secular works next year, but for the last two evening concerts of their half-century celebration they exhilarated audiences with effusive sacred music of the most thrilling kind.

Chocolates for the regular soprano
Janet Macdonald
Paul Stock's production of Haydn's "Creation" with the Clyst Valley Choral Society and Orchestra was the most joyous and fabulous outpouring of delightful and triumphant musical beauty. May his twenty year tenure with the choir, like Haydn's Creation, endure - if not for ever, for a long time to come.

Delicious cake and refreshments
Alto: Myriam Prual
Soprano: Janet Macdonald
Special thanks also to Carolyn Keep, who as always was instrumental in the preparations and running the front of house, and to the church committee for providing such sumptuous refreshments during the interval - including a celebratory cake for Paul Stock the Musical Director.

Don't forget the Organist!
Mark Perry
In November the choir will reconvene for Eric Thiman's "Songs of Sailors and the Sea", Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Five Mystical Songs" and Charles Villier Stanford's "Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis" in C major.

In the spring of 2020, look out for Giacomo Puccini's "Messa di Gloria".

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