University of Plymouth Choral Society, with Carolyn Dobbin and Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron

University of Plymouth Choral Society welcomes spring to a delighted audience at Minster Church of St Andrew

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Most of us can remember our school concerts, whether we took part, or were just there to listen.

The format was normally the same – the choir and orchestra made up the bulk of the programme, and the best musicians provided some welcome variety in between.

Conductor Simon Ible had very much planned his Spring Concert along those lines – here were no long drawn-out choral works, but rather a varied selection focussing on vocal and instrumental music from the Baroque, and all mainly inspired by Easter.

The university songsters did their usual stalwart job on the night, and even if there appeared some difficulty hearing the organ which resulted in occasional loss of pitch, despite the assured playing from Mary Mazur-Park, sheer enthusiasm, as ever, still won through in the end.

The Sinfonia, under the assured leadership of Mary Eade, was on excellent form, and provided a secure and sympathetic backing.

But the evening’s undoubted highlight was the contribution from the two soloists. Violinist Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron despatched Vivaldi’s challenging A minor Concerto with great aplomb, fleet of foot in the rapid outer movements, and with a wonderfully hushed tone in the central Largo.

Mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin sang with great poise and a lovely well-rounded tone throughout, in well-known arias by Handel, Purcell and Bach, all much to the delight of the packed audience.

 

PHILIP R BUTTALL