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Review: Oriole Singers, St Luke’s Church, Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:37 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:37 26 March 2018

Suffolk composer Peter Creswell, whose Easter oratorio Before Pilate received its premiere at the weekend.

Suffolk composer Peter Creswell, whose Easter oratorio Before Pilate received its premiere at the weekend.

Archant

Frank Cliff hears the world premiere of a new Easter oratorio.

Sunday’s concert by the Oriole Singers, accompanied by St Gregory’s Orchestra, saw the first performance of Before Pilate, an Easter Oratorio to a text from St Luke, with music by the Suffolk composer Peter Creswell, whose music might be called traditional yet has a very distinctive individual style.

In his writing both for chorus and soloists, Creswell captures both the poignancy and drama of the text, and the Oriole Singers responded admirably, with good ensemble and intonation.

The soloists, all members of the choir, coped well, with Vernon Holt an incisive Pilate, Steve Holmes a dramatic High Priest, while Anne Moore, as Pilate’s Wife, sang her long aria with great sensitivity, and, in addition to obtaining a fine performance from the whole ensemble, conductor Martin Wyatt undertook the sung recitative of narrator. Bravo to him.

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