Review: Derby Bach Choir, Derby Cathedral, 17.11.12
Mass in C tends to be overlooked, squeezed between Haydn's late
masses on the one hand, and Beethoven's own Missa Solemnis
on the other. But, as Derby Bach Choir and conductor Richard Roddis
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reminded us, it is a fine, noble work in its own right.
was a performance alive to both the work's relationship with the
tradition of Viennese mass settings, and Beethoven's individual
take on that tradition. A firm grasp of the music's structure, as
in the build-up of momentum at the start of the Credo, was matched by
a responsiveness to its changing moods. The quiet opening of the
Kyrie and its echo at the very end of the work were sensitively
handled, while passages such as the Et Vitam Venturi were vigorous
Claire Surman, mezzo Joyce Tindsley, tenor Christopher Larley and
baritone Peter Taylor were an exceptionally well-matched and -blended
solo team, while Derby Bach Orchestra's contribution included some
ear-catching woodwind solos.
evening began with Haydn's jolly Te Deum (the second of his
two settings), though the choir's performance also found hints of
anxiety in the slow central section.
account of Vivaldi's Gloria that followed (like the Haydn,
it is much the better-known of the composer's two settings) gave
full rein the the music's expressive variety. There was poise in Et
in Terra Pax, solidity in Gratias Agimus Tibi, a delightfully light,
skippy Domine Fili Unigeniti, and clarity in the contrapuntal
textures of the final Cum Sancto Spiritu.
anyone ever perform Haydn's other Te Deum or Vivaldi's
other Gloria? Just a thought.