Sat, January 2nd, 2010
New Year’s Day 2010
Posted in the Concert Reports Category
The day dawned into brilliant sunshine, auguring a successful event, but developed into something like the forecast of a well-known piscatorially named weather forecaster. Snow arrived without warning, greeting the outgoing audience and performers with varying amounts of difficulty for the return home. And subsequently caused the repeat of the programme in the Gower pensinula out of the question the next day. (Re-arranged for Saturday 16 January, an exact replica of the planned event).
The music for the 19th annual afternoon concert on New Year’s Day lived up to its expected format and excellence in performance. Many points of spine tingling expressiveness with outstanding pianissimo passages of great beauty in pieces like Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque, Malcolm Williamson’s Brightest and best are the sons of the morning, Herbert Howells Here is the little door and the final verse of the benediction. The atmospheric rendering of the carol Past three a clock in the opinion of at least one, was a high point, underlining that the simplest of pieces can and often does, reach a high point, when performed as it was on this occasion.
The annual inclusion of Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols never dulls the pleasure of this lovely work with its magical ending. Allan Smith was the baritone soloist.
Jane Watts one of Wales’s international organists accompanied the Singers and for one of her solo items played an arrangement by her mentor, David Willcocks, of Hark the herald angels sing – Postlude “on Mendelssohn” – Sir David celebrated his 90th birthday on 30 December.