UCS – Concert Review

A cold and frosty afternoon was transformed in the evening by an electrifying performance of Uttoxeter Choral Society. An arresting performance of Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir was accompanied by the playing of two beautiful violinists as well as Katie Riddle on the piano. The dynamic range of the choir was illustrated in this first concert by conductor Jakob Grubbström.

A varied selection of choral items was succeeded by a virtuoso performance by Sarah Farmer on the violin of Gerald Finzi’s Introit ably accompanied by Katie Riddle on piano. During the interval the presence of the mayor, Alan Noyes was utilised as he presented a long service award to Philip Knight who has sung tenor with the choir since his arrival in Uttoxeter in 1966.

Bach’s motet was ably accompanied by the two violins so that when they played in unison only an increase in volume was heard. Patricia Stepien and Sarah were perfectly matched. The harmonies were beautiful.

This was emphasised in the accompaniment of the Faure requiem. Here Sarah played viola and she and Patricia gave a poignant note to an inspirational piece. Rheinberger’s lovely Abendlied was the prelude to a magnificent ending to the concert with Haydn’s Te Deum. The powerful male singers gave a magnificence to the performance balanced by the soft and gentle flow of the allegro. The distinctive surprises of Haydn’s composition were effectively contrived and the piece ended on a triumphant note.

Jakob is to be congratulated, not only for presenting such an interesting concert, but also for his development of the choir into a professional and effective ensemble. The audience praised the violinists on a beautiful performance and the men on their effectiveness.

(soloists Lto R:- Katie Riddle, piano, Sarah Farmer, viola, Patricia Stepien violin,Jakob Grubbström, conductor;)

Mary Pollard.


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