Dartington Community Choir: Elijah
Great Hall, Dartington
December 10, 2017
A week or so before Dartington Community Choir’s performance of Elijah took place, social-media site Facebook was somewhat buzzing, following a post from one of the orchestral musicians who would be playing on the night, commenting on some aspects of the oratorio which didn’t always seem to endear the work to everyone – listener or performer.
This provoked a healthy response from a good number of fellow-musicians, some of whom considered Elijah the best thing since sliced-bread, while others found it somewhat tedious, with all its Victorian sentimentality.
Given that reviewers, too, are allowed to like some works more than others, I did initially find myself in the ‘I hope the seat is comfortably padded, and I won’t miss my last bus home’ brigade, when, like the words of one of its best-known choruses – ‘He That Shall Endure to the End’ – I did, for the first time.
However, a superb performance from Three Spires Singers in Truro Cathedral in June, and now Dartington Community Choir’s equally enthralling one, in the iconic setting of the Great Hall, have both succeeded in finally winning me over.
It would, of course, be invidious, and indeed unnecessary to have to choose between them. But, suffice it to say that, in Darren Jeffery, the Dartington performance had an Elijah simply to die for.
You can read my full review of the event here at Seen and Heard International.
Philip R Buttall
(image: Dartington Community Choir with Darren Jeffrey (inset))