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from the Wokingham Times, December 2004

Singers put on a perfect show
Eton College hall
 

WOKINGHAM Choral Society travelled to Eton College to perform music from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, as well as Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. In Carmina Burana, it would be hard to find a more felicitous trio of soloists. Kate Van Kooten sang beautifully, effortlessly soaring through the high spots in Dulcissime. Daniel Auchincloss' falsetto roasting swan was suitably pathetic and Owen Gilhooly's Omnia sol... reflected the strong power of the warm spring sunshine. Later he expressed his anger and disappointment in a nimble Estuans interius. The pure tone of the choristers of St. Margaret's Church Westminster and their clear, neat singing were a joy to hear. Wokingham Choral gave a performance which deserved the warm ovation they received from a full house. Each section of the piece was sung with vigour and conviction.

 

Both Fortunas were splendid, the tavern songs were fun and Veni veni was exciting. The conductor, Aidan Oliver, insisted on a precise performance with no rough edges. He kept the lively spontaneity of the piece and gave the music a chance to shine in all its variety. In Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition the conductor brought out all the various moods of the piece. The contrast between Goldenburg Schmuyle was well done and so was the transition from Baba Yaga's Hut to the Great Gate of Kiev.

  Rosemary Bayliss