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 from the Wokingham Times, December 2000

Wokingham Choral Society gives 'an astonishing performance'
Eton School Hall

Sir Michael Tippett's great masterpiece The Child of our Time is a complex and demanding piece in which the significance of the words and music are closely intertwined.

It is not easy to sing and it requires a competent flexible choir.

The Wokingham Choral Society rose to the occasion with an astonishing performance.

They were riveting all the way through from the first breath of The World Turns On Its Dark Side where their voices rose and fell in a single wave.

The confusion in We Are Lost was perfectly controlled, and they actually sounded 'as seed before the wind', relentlessly blown along.

They switched effortlessly from the angry Kill Them! to the chilling, helpless We have no refuge just a few bars later.

Each repetition of Let my people go had a subtly shifting sentiment in the singing which gave a rising authority to the words, culminating in the thrilling Tell old Pharoah and the syncopated I want to cross over was left to speak quiet;ly for itself as the singing expressed an insistent hope.

Edward Gardner, their conductor, and Denny Lyster, their accompanist, must be very proud.

The Guildford Philharmonic provided the large responsive orchestra and the soloists were Sarah Fox, Stephanie Marshall, Matthew Beale, and Jonathan Brown.

The concert included Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto in which Anna Markland gave a brilliant solo performance.

Rosemary Bayliss