Playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw wasn’t overly impressed by Mendelssohn’s Elijah, when he wrote that he’d sat through a performance as an act of professional devotion.
When the University of Plymouth Choral Society presents its annual Christmas Concert, you can always expect a varied programme of shorter, and often less-familiar works, excellent young soloists, and, most important, a tangible feeling of genuine enjoyment from the choir.
Nordic Waves might sound more like the name of a deodorant, but it proved the ideal title for this delightful programme of chamber music from Northern Europe,
A light and frothy performance of Mozart’s effervescent Marriage of Figaro Overture provided the perfect opener, with especially neat articulation from upper woodwind, and strings, led with usual aplomb by Mary Eade.
You always get an adrenaline rush when you’ve enjoyed a really good concert, either as performer or audience member.
Strings are generally regarded as the backbone of any orchestral ensemble, and this quite superb concert by the Ten Tors Strings under conductor Simon Ible not only attested to the skill of the players, but also confirmed why the orchestra, in full rig, can make such a fine sound, too.
Music has that wonderful ability to transcend political oppression, and indeed, in the case of the Boyan Ensemble, to crank up the emotions, particularly in the second half of this highly-enjoyable concert, when the singers featured folk music from their native Ukraine.