THE IMPERIAL MEDICS CHOIR AND CHAMBER CHOIR
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.