Nelson Mass - Haydn
Requiem - Mozart
Review by Janet Hornby:
St. Andrew's Church, Penrith was packed on Sunday evening for the Penrith Singers' concert conducted by their Musical Director, Colin Marston. The large audience was looking forward to hearing one of the most popular works in the choral repertoire: the Requiem Mass by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The work was paired with the Nelson Mass by Joseph Haydn. The audience was expecting a treat.
The concert started with the Haydn Mass, which is joyful and dramatic right from the opening trumpet flourish. The choir sang with commitment, shaping the sinuous phrases of the Kyrie. Emma Peaurt's bright, confident tone shone through the Gloria, which the c-- LKThoir finished with a splendid energetic fugue. The beautiful phrases of "et incarnatus est" were shaped splendidly by the choir and "et sepultus est" was tellingly expressive. In the Benedictus the trio of mezzo-soprano (Marion Ramsay), tenor (Peter Kelly) and bass (John Bispham) formed a pleasing ensemble.
The Mozart Requiem followed with a sombre atmosphere starting from low woodwind notes. The orchestra led by Susan Johnson with Ian Hare at the organ provided a reliable foundation and helped to maintain the atmosphere of deep-felt emotion. The tenors and basses sang spikily of the punishment for the wicked while the sopranos and altos floated a serene prayer of supplication.
All too soon we reached the impassioned cries of the Agnus Dei. The Lux Aeterna drew the threads together into the final moments of calm confidence. Enthusiastic applause filled the church: expectations had been fulfilled!