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Live! - Culture

A Weekend of Concerts in St Augustine’s

Mar 02 2003 15:56
Nia Stevens
IC Students Make One Hell of a Racket: A review of The Imperial Medics Choir and Chamber Choir and Canto Villanella.
A Racket: If somebody else volunteers to write reviews of concerts then terrible gags like this might be avoided in future.


There was an air of commemoration surrounding Andy Heeps’s final concert conducting the Imperial Medics Choir particularly with Handel’s Zadok The Priest kicking the proceedings off. Hearing the choir sing out their first few chords at a committed and enthusiastic fff (“beltissimo” or “very f***ing loud” to the less musical amongst you) sent a tingle of excitement down my spine and I decide that, on balance, my choice to come to the concert rather than watch Buffy repeats on Sky was a good one.

For his final concert with the choir that he founded Mr Heeps felt that the only choice would be for the choir to perform a Requiem. I’d never heard Rutter’s Requiem and I approached it with the suspicion of one who’s sung too many of his carols. I was wrong. The Rutter Requiem is absolutely gorgeous. Despite being a little mushy or as a friend put it, Spielburg-esq (I take his point, one could easily imagine this as the soundtrack to an emotive film), there were many absolutely heavenly moments, some almost Britten-esq.

The Medics Chamber Choir conducted by Surjo De performed some particularly challenging pieces including Tavener’s The Lamb and the 16 part Serenade to Music by Vaughan-Williams. I was particularly impressed by their rendition of the Vaughan-Williams, demonstrating the choir has a number of strong soloists in their midst.

The Medics Chamber Choir performed a number of other pieces but the one that caught my attention was a setting of the words of the Agnus Dei to the notes of Barber’s Adagio for strings. This was conducted by Jo Patterson and was very lovely indeed. Particular congratulations should go to the 1st Altos for their top As!

CANTO VILLANELLA - same place, same time, the next day.

Pure self indulgence to mention this one really. Since I am not in a position to review this concert, I simply say that it was a very enjoyable sing. Lots of very heavenly chords (thanks to conductor Emma Gibbins for choosing the Vierne!!). Lots of beltissimo. I now feel that my windpipes have been thoroughly cleared even if I may not be able to speak for a week.

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Discussion about “A Weekend of Concerts in St Augustine’s”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Mar 02 2003 15:57

I?d like to apologise that I am not musically knowledgeable enough to do a particularly good job of reviewing this concert. If anybody out there would like to write a review for an event then that would be excellent. Speak to editors or myself. Events coming up soon that need reviewing include ICSO?s concert on Friday, MTSoc?s production of Personals Tues-Sat (this week).

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