On the eve of Remembrance Day Hertford Choral Society presented a thoughtfully crafted programme to a sell-out audience at All Saints Church.
The Chameleon Arts Orchestra opened with Music for Carlow, overflowing with Irish lyricism and vibrant rhythm before accompanying the choir in Mirror of Perfection by Richard Blackford. The choir took confident control of the varied tonesand textures used in this ambitious choice of music to express praise, overpowering love, faith and Soloists Emma Tring and Stephen Charlesworth joined the performance that included demanding syncopation contrasted with warm and expressive lines to convey the power of love through the words of St Francis. Blackford, present for the performance, complimented the choir on their musical rendition.
Followed by Faure’s Requiem Mass the musicians recreated the message of peace and happy deliverance through warm and balanced tones. With timbres ranging from the dark austere opening> to the beautiful Sanctus the music was shaped with tenderness. This was no ordinary concert< presentation however as it uniquely diverted from the norm. Movements were separated by words of Simon & Garfunkel, WB Yeats, and Wilfred Owen among others. Originally selected by Music Director Derek Harrison and powerfully read by Peter Ruffles they highlighted the deep meaning in> the original Latin texts and supported the fine musical expression of the choir.
This was a thought provoking combination of music, reaching back to mediaeval texts to bring us a profound message of hope at a time when remembrance is surrounded by conflict. You will often hear Faure’s popular Requiem performed as yet another concert piece. Rarely will you encounter it presented with such fine artistic direction and thought.