Bach’s Magic is still there in Seaton

18:30 23 December 2014

Archant

Sunday, December 14 saw a well-filled Gateway Seaton with a lively and effective performance by Seaton Choral Society of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

In charge was Seaton Choral Society’s conductor, Peter Milmer, who directed with authority, with tempi always appropriate, catching the varying moods of the pieces.

The opening drum-beats ushered in the choir’s invitation to greet the birth of Jesus with gladness. It was a compelling start, even though the tiny, valiant group of strings sounded somewhat out of scale with timpani and trumpets.

The Evangelist, who recounts the bible story, was Leslie Baker. He has a real understanding of this role and he sang it convincingly,. He was accompanied sensitively and excellently throughout by Michael Dawson (‘cello) and Michèle Banting (harpsichord). Leslie’s role ranged from the recitatives to an impressive virtuoso performance with the flute in Happy shepherds .

David Fouracre’s Mighty Lord, with trumpet obbligato, and with his commanding voice and presence, had the required stature and regal energy.

It was good to have Kate Baker, Karen Curnock and Nicholas Arrow, members of the choir, members of the society, singing some of the arias.

The choir, obviously very well-prepared, kept up their standard from beginning to end. One or two of the choruses are a test of stamina; in particular, Glory to God, where we often hear signs of exhaustion in the last few bars. Not so here, with the finish as vibrant as the opening. There were some lovely resonant chords in a number of the chorales, tunes which would be known to Bach’s listeners

The hall itself is pleasing and welcoming, but the singers had to cope with a great deal of fabric on and around the stage. This militates against the resonances required in the building, and which Bach’s church in Leipzig certainly had and still has. Everyone rose above this difficulty, and after 65 years of intimate acquaintance with this work, it was good to know that the magic is still there.

William Llewellyn

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Midweek Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Midweek Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Midweek Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Entertainment Stories

23 minutes ago

A fun time was had by all ages at Gittisham Village Fete on Saturday, September 17.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:31

See the Sea – an exhibition of the work of Peter Goodhall – begins at Kennaway House, Sidmouth, on Saturday, October 1 and runs until October 9.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

There are always events going on in the area, here are just two.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:30

Defender Of The Dead, Boiling Kettle Theatre Company’s new touring comedy, will be staged at Stockland Village Hall.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Axminster Drama Club has completed its final rehearsals for its production of Mark C Bourne’s black comedy called A Better You.

Read more
Wed, 17:30

A Bridport author will be signing copies of her book this weekend.

Read more
Tue, 17:30

Newsflash! There’s been a series of high-profile crimes right across the city – but fear not… the police chief’s put his best man on the job.

Read more
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An appeal has been issued for memorabilia to be put on display for the Shute Local History Weekend.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read Entertainment

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications