Getting two large-scale choirs to come together is one thing, but finding somewhere for them to perform could prove a lot harder.
By completely reversing the congregational seating, Truro Cathedral provided an ideal venue for a combined performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, by the city’s two leading vocal ensembles. Christopher Gray, Director of Music at the Cathedral provided both the musical expertise, and the ability to get them all singing from the same hymn sheet, but the result was an absolute musical tour de force, supported by the accomplished orchestra led by Philip Montgomery-Smith.
With excellent support from soloists Anita Watson, Catherine Carby, Alexander James Edwards, and Christopher Cull, Chris Gray revitalised this 1840s-styled oratorio, and gave it a new lease of life and meaning for the world we live in today.
Chris had introduced of girl choristers at the cathedral two years back, so it made perfect sense to use chorister Lucy Wallis for Youth’s part, so often delivered traditionally by a boy-soprano, who can rarely reach the high with any comfort, unlike Lucy, whose bell-like tone and flawless intonation were so welcome here.
The evening’s highlight was undoubtedly the Truro Cathedral Girl Choristers themselves, whose Lift thine eyes was touchingly beautiful, and perfectly pitched throughout.
To describe the whole performance merely as ‘proper job’ would be seriously to undervalue this truly sumptuous dish of Cornish Cream – Victorian style.
PHILIP R BUTTALL
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