Review: Bristol Choral Society at Colston Hall 9/10 (John Packwood)
BRISTOL Choral Society is a thriving mixed choir with over 150 members which was established in 1889. It stages at least three concerts a year at the above venue including their renowned score-free version of Handel's Messiah which is being performed on December 22.
On Saturday we were treated to a moving performance of Brahms' Requiem, a work composed soon after the death of the composer's mother in 1865. Lingering feelings over Schumann's death in 1856 may also have been a motivation.
The hushed opening was brilliantly portrayed by the choir after the orchestra's introduction whilst the second movement has the rhythm of a funeral march with the chorus proclaiming "Behold all flesh is as grass". The third section had the excellent baritone Njabulo Madala pondering on life
"My hope is in thee". His powerful voice was perfect in conveying the mood of this particular section as it was when he returned in the sixth segment proclaiming drama and painful triumph "O death where is thy sting ?"
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Before this the beautiful "How lovely "stunningly sung by the chorus was followed by soprano soloist Hye-Youn Lee singing gracefully and with intimate tenderness giving the listener some consolation. The finale begins softly and continues this way until the final message conveys peace.
This was a superb and impressive performance by the choir, led by conductor Adrian Partington.