The 3rd of June saw the Imperial College Choir and Symphony Orchestra, reinforced by the Thomas Hardye School Choral Society team up to present both Anton Bruckner's "Te Deum" and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor.
The concert began with the "Te Deum" conducted by the Choir's own musical director Ms Therees Tkach Hibbard. The work is one of Bruckner's best known and most masterful choral compositions and has been widely performed since its orchestral premiere in 1886.
The Choir's rendition began as it would go on, with a strong and well balanced entry, well supported by the orchestra. The solo portions of the work were ably performed by guest artists Ida Falk Winland (Soprano), Anna Grevelius (Alto), Ben Johnson (Tenor) and H?kan Eken?s (Baritone). The choir performed admirably throughout the work, particularly during the unaccompanied sections where the harmonies were both well balanced and polished. There were a few moments where the bass section of the Choir seemed a little unsteady and once or twice the Orchestra's lower brass overpowered the choir somewhat but otherwise both groups worked well together resulting in what was, in this reporter's opinion, a thoroughly enjoyable performance.
At the conclusion of the work Mr. Richard Dickins (Imperial College Director of Music) and Miss Stefanie Wai (Choir Chair) made a short presentation to Ms Hibbard who on this occasion made her final appearance as the Choir's musical director. After some eight years in the post Ms Hibbard is leaving Imperial to take up a position at the University of Nebraska. The reaction of both the audience and performers alike made it clear that whilst Ms Hibbard is leaving, she has made a lasting impression on the musical life of the College.
After the interval the baton was handed to Mr. Dickins, this time in his position as Conductor of the Orchestra. Beethoven's 9th Symphony is a well known and popular work with its second movement often recognised after its inclusion in the film ?A Clockwork Orange? by Stanley Kubrick and the infamous ?Ode to Joy? originally by Friedrich Schiller which is now accepted as the ?European National Anthem?.
The orchestra began with a soft but secure entry into the first movement before moving into the complex and ranging second movement. The orchestra demonstrated both its individual talents and its group cohesion with a dynamically diverse and rhythmically sound performance although at times the string section seemed a little unsteady in the faster and more exposed passages. The suspense was slowly built through the third movement and into the fourth movement where the Choir once again joined the orchestra to sing the rousing ?Ode to Joy? and the two groups brought the evening to an awe-inspiring finale.
Once again the two groups provided an enthralling evening's entertainment and this reporter certainly looks forward to their performances in the new academic year.