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
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
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.