Benedicite Concert 14 May 2016

Benedicite ReviewOn Saturday 14 May I needed an artistic and encouraging tonic. Thank you, EPC and Devon County Junior Choir, for producing it in a concert of music of different styles presented to a capacity audience.

All true performers are self-critical but in this concert both the expertise of the composers and also the telepathy between conductors and singers were inspiring. The Bach motet was a powerful and lively opening for the occasion and the Howells Te Deum had strong rich harmonies. I thought less of Carter's Benedicite, but that was the composer's fault, not the performers'. The other works evoked happy memories of my family taking part in performances of Horovitz's Captain Noah and of playing one of Dvorak's Slavonic Dances and Benjamin's Jamaican Rumba, which even brought a few tears to my eyes! The combination of Andrew Millington's reliable conducting and David Davies' expertise in this, his last official appearance as pianist and organist for the EPC, inspired the adult singers to convey to the audience a genuine sense of enjoyment. Rachel Smith had trained the choir of young singers to a high standard, well deserving of the extra applause they received. I make no apologies for trying to convey a sense of euphoria about this concert. I feel sure that the choir's policy of producing large-scale choral works with orchestra, as is planned for the next season, combined with occasional concerts of shorter and more varied works, should continue to attract audiences to Exeter Philharmonic Choir concerts in the future.

Robert Gittings

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