LIVE REVIEW: Todmorden Choral Society: Cathedral Gems – St Mary’s Church, Todmorden – 9th October 2019

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This was a concert devoted to religious music: however, it offered variety, from the powerful “St Patrick’s Breastplate”, arranged by Stanford to the gentle and subtle setting of William Blake’s poem “The Lamb” by John Tavener. The choir, conducted by Antony Brannick, gave an expressive and effective performance throughout.

The opening piece was Tallis’s melodious and graceful “O nata lux”.

The choir was joined by organist Gary Hulme, who ably performed as a solo Bach’s intricate Fantasia and Fugue in G minor (BWV 542) and Stanford’s “Postlude in G”. There were three lovely soloists, including soprano Seth Barber, who featured in Mendelssohn’s “Hear my prayer” which ends with “O for the wings of a dove”.

After “Insanae et vanae curae” by Haydn, which goes from despair to affirmation, the concert concluded with Vaughan-Williams’ “Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing”, a powerful and joyful hymn.