- November 13, 2017
Only two violins? Don’t worry, Alison Bury and Julia Bishop are stellar soloists, like the rest of this amazing orchestra, a roll-call of the best in Britain. They produced a clarity and strength of sound that inspired the very best from the singers. Conductor John Hancorn maintained a brisk pace but never at the expense of the Christmas story’s essential tenderness. Alert and responsive as ever, the BREMF Singers delivered plenty of excitement and agility alongside some very sensitive singing.
Tenor Hugo Hymas sustained the Evangelist’s narrative drama beautifully. Hannah Ely (soprano) was ethereal as an angel and impressively strict when rebuking Herod. Mezzo-soprano Rebecca Leggett gave her meditative arias a special calm, and Simon Wallfisch (baritone with a tenor’s range) had a delightful ease of singing in ‘Großer Herr’ that was wonderfully amplified by trumpeter David Blackadder’s thrilling high notes. Such brightness, clarity and well-considered pace made this a particularly enjoyable climax to BREMF 2017.
St Martin’s Church, 12 November 2017
NOTE: John Hancorn is conducting many of the same performers with the Baroque Collective in HANDEL : MESSIAH at St Michael’s Church, Lewes, 23rd December 7pm.