Choir singing in Royal Hall
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Harrogate
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Review

Yorkshire's Finest

Harrogate Choral Society with the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band

The Royal Hall, Harrogate, 14 June 2014

Yorkshire's Finest flyer

Delightful link-up between HCS and Brighouse & Rastrick

A large and appreciative audience filled the Royal Hall for the Summer Concert given by the Harrogate Choral Society under their conductor Andrew Padmore.

Also sharing the stage for this final concert of the season entitled Yorkshire’s Finest was the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band.

Marilynne Davies, deputy conductor of the choral society compered with great style and humour.

The programme began with the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore by Verdi; its strident melody stirring up the hearts of all and forming an excellent opening number. The Brighouse and Rastrick Band followed with even more Verdi in a splendid performance of The Force of Destiny Overture.

The next section was a selection of sacred pieces sung by the choral society including both accompanied and unaccompanied works by Pitoni, Puccini, Verdi and Rossini. The diction was clear and precise, the choral balance good. Piano accompaniment was, as usual expertly provided by Beryl Pankhurst.

This was followed by a performance of The Pines of Rome composed by Respighi and arranged for brass band. The tonal balance in this work was carefully balanced and the sheer power of the finale was very impressive.

The final work in the first half was the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from the Opera Nabucco by Verdi.

An interesting feature was the synchronized conducting between Alan Morrison with the brass band and Andrew Padmore with the choral society. An additional advantage was the forward positioning of the singers which improved the sound immensely.

The second half of the concert began with an interesting performance of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, sung with great gusto with fine brass band accompaniment.

A change of mood brought us the choral society under the sensitive baton of Andrew Padmore, singing a reflective group of British songs by Bairstow, Stanford and Vaughan Williams; the solo in The Turtle Dove by Vaughan Williams sung with gentle ease by baritone Miles Taylor.

The mood once again changed with the Band offerings of the light-hearted Sullivan Fantasy by Gordon Langford and the Dam Busters March by Eric Coates under the expert baton of Alan Morrison.

The penultimate offering was the delightful Little Jazz Mass by Bob Chilcott, accompaniment provided by Mike Kelley, double bass, Cherry Bratkowski, drum kit and Beryl Pankhurst, piano.

The evening finished with rousing performances, with audience participation of the Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 and Jerusalem bringing this delightful evening to an end.

Adrian Selway