With the Nation honouring the memory of those who fell in two World Wars and in many other subsequent conflicts, it was a very appropriate moment for Hertford Choral Society to present its concert In Remembrance.
Derek Harrison, Musical Director, compiled a program of music composed during the years before, during and after The Great War. The program stretched the musical skills of the Choral Society, as it required big singing as well as “singing small”, plus precision and great control. In this the Society did not disappoint its audience and for my part, their performance of John Tavener's Song for Athene was achingly good.
Two well-known and greatly-admired soloists, Fiona Hammacott singing soprano and Leandros Taliotis, baritone, gave us a collection of individual songs taken from the Great War period and also led the singing of Stanford’s Canticles in G Major, the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, supported by the Choral Society and expertly accompanied by Peter Jaekel whose skill at the keyboards of both organ and piano was a highlight of the evening.
The second part of the evening’s concert began with an excerpt from Laurence Binyon’s famous poem For the Fallen which was then followed by Ralph Vaughan Williams’ cantata Dona Nobis Pacem in which both the soloists, the accompanist and the Choral Society performed with passion in this emotional cry for Peace.
The audience very much appreciated both the content of the program and the opportunity, at such a poignant moment, to be present at and part of this Concert, which was well-rehearsed, well directed and conducted and which was delivered with dignity and respect.
Thank you to all concerned.
Christopher Maunder Taylor