from the Wokingham Times, November 2005
Wokingham Choral Society, Reading Festival Chorus, Tamesis Chamber
Choir, Brandenburg Sinfonia: A Concert to Commemorate the War
OF THE many commemorations of the end of the Second World War that there have been this year, this concert must have been one of the best.
To focus our attention on what the war had meant to ordinary people, all the performers wore a poppy and the programme itself had some accounts of what it had been like and here and there were prints of old posters and photos.
The music reflected the fact that the end of the war was a time of great rejoicing as well as of sadness and remembrance.
The guest singers, Berkshire Youth Choir, opened the concert with a neat, attractive performance of Reading Abbey's own Summer Is A-Coming In.
For these confident, well-prepared singers their programme of composers like Bardos and Tavner, with their unexpected progressions and harmonies, presented no problem.
Before they joined the full choir, The Tamesis Chamber Choir,
conducted by Louise Rapple, sang Morten Lauridsen's 0 Magnum
Mysterium, bringing a quiet tranquillity to this calm meditation.
Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace summed up the purpose of this concert. Aidan Oliver conducted the combined choirs and the Brandenburg Sinfonia in a dramatic performance which ranged from the mighty Sanctus to the moving quiet Benedictus with its tender recurring theme.
The Hymn Before Action swept along to the funeral Agnus Dei with its hint of the Last Post.
The second part of the concert was a lively performance of Mozart's Requiem where the choir's control and attack were excellent.