THOUGHTFUL planning, careful preparation and inspired performances provided a fitting concert conducted by David Halls in memory of SMS vice-president Patrick Brooking.
Brooking was passionately dedicated to the choir, and his influential organisation brought about commemorative concerts in collaboration with German musicians.
Germany and Austria provided the sublime music for the concert.
Bach’s first cantata was composed for the Feast of the Annunciation in March 1725.
This break from Lenten austerity was evident in its rich instrumentation, with fine playing from the Chelsea Opera Group Orchestra, especially from woodwind and continuo. The outer chorales were warmly phrased and the inner recitatives and arias were freshly sung by the three young soloists.
The other works were by Mozart. His Adagio and Fugue in C Minor pays homage to Bach in contrapuntal writing, which provided a solemn contrast in a committed performance.
His Mass in C Minor is appropriately nicknamed The Great Mass despite being incomplete, with a winning blend of dignity and tenderness. In the premiere the first soprano was Constanze, Mozart’s wife, and Olivia Robinson’s beautiful voice did full justice to her predecessor, matching the choir’s passionately sensitive singing.