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Norfolk Tourism Awards

Review: Keswick Hall Choir was in grand form at Princes Street United Reformed Church, Norwich

PUBLISHED: 18:04 25 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:12 26 February 2018

Keswick Hall Choir performed at the United Reformed Church in Princes Street, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Keswick Hall Choir performed at the United Reformed Church in Princes Street, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Christopher Duarte’s Keswick Hall Choir was in grand form at Princes Street United Reformed Church, Norwich, on Saturday evening.

In a technically demanding, yet immediately attractive programme of unaccompanied music they explored how composers from Russia, Poland and the Baltic republics have interpreted deeply felt religious texts in recent decades.

Excerpts from Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil were reminders of his development of traditional chant in earlier times. Though his influence has remained powerful, a more modern generation has chosen its own way. Dubra’s Magnificat was effervescent, almost jaunty, and Esenvalds’ Stars unexpectedly gave significance to a flimsy lyric by the American poet Sara Teasdale. Part and Schnittke were more austere, almost tight-lipped, strikingly releasing pent up emotion at the end. The singers’ crisp and alert performances of these pieces gave us a rare opportunity to hear much that was highly original and quite delightful.

Christopher Smith

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