Once again the Great Hall was the setting for an evening of choral entertainment from the Union?s own Choir. The Choir were accompanied on this occasion by soloists Sophie Bevan (soprano), Nicola Stonehouse (alto), Andrew Staples (tenor) and H?kan Eken?s (baritone) and an orchestra led by Gonzalo Acosta. All were under the familiar baton of the Choir?s musical director Therees Tkach Hibbard.
The evening kicked off with the ?Hallelujah? from Ludwig van Beethoven?s ?Oratorio Christus am Oelberge (Christ on the Mount of Olives Op 85)?. This oratorio is one of Beethoven?s more under performed works and was composed in the just the space of a few weeks in 1803. The ?Hallelujah? is the final chorus of the oratorio ?Welten Singen Dank und Ehre? (Let the world sing thanks and honour). The choir gave a resounding and energetic performance of the chorus with good dynamic variation and control throughout, setting the tone for the rest of the evening?s music.
Next up was Johann Sebastien Bach?s ?Magnificat in D?. Originally composed for the festive season this piece features what is considered by some to be unusually rich instrumentation for Bach. The choir and soloists lived up to their superb start with their rendition of the work excepting perhaps a few more unsteady moments in the later movements.
After a 20 minute interval the Choir moved on to the longest of the evening?s works, the ?Requiem Mass K626? originally composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and generally recognised as one of the finest choral pieces of its type. Mozart however died before he could complete the work and most commonly a version with a completion by Franz S?ssmayr is preformed. The choir however elected to perform a more recent version featuring completion by Robert D Levin of Harvard University.
The choir gave a well polished performance of the work. Particular highlights in this reporter?s opinion were the Choir?s convincing ?Dies Irae? and a marvellous trombone solo in the movement ?Tuba Mirum?.
Next term will see the choir perform Brahms? ?Requiem? at 8 p.m. on Thursday 10th March in the Great Hall.