Review: Derby Choral Union, Derby Cathedral, 10.11.12
Gloria is a typical mixture of devotional intensity and
knockabout fun, and both elements need to be held in balance for it
Derby Choral Union's performance it was the quieter moments that
came off best, aided by Pippa Goss's marvellously floated soprano
solos, and the tranquil ending was beautifully achieved. In the
quicker movements there was a slight feeling of unwillingness to
really let go, which may partly have been down to relative
unfamiliarity with the work.
was performed with just a piano duet accompaniment (pianists Margaret
Williams and Mark Pescott simply playing from the vocal score). I
missed the sharp colours of Poulenc's orchestration, which
contribute so much to the music's character.
and Pescott ended the first half with an amiable account of Debussy's
early Petite Suite, a touch lacking in impetus in the second
movement, 'Cortège', but with plenty of poise and charm
2 was taken up with Puccini's Messa di Gloria, composed as
his graduation exercise at the Music Institute in Lucca. The result
is so unremittingly dull I can only assume he was simply churning out
what was expected of him. It's bizarrely proportioned, too, with an
over-extended Gloria and Credo unbalancing the remaining movements.
Conductor Richard Dacey encouraged the choir to give it their best
shot - though occasionally, as in the initial entries in the Et
Resurrexit section of the Credo, the tone needed just a bit more
weight - but it's a work I can happily live without.
the two soloists, tenor Richard Reaville phrased musically, though
his tone was rather tight. Bass Michael Pearce was agreeably
sonorous, and very good at eye-contact with the audience, too.