Dartington Community Choir: Verdi's Requiem at the Great Hall (review)

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Dartington Community Choir: Verdi's Requiem at the Great Hall

Three people would have been immensely proud of this quite stupendous performance of Verdi’s Requiem, though sadly two are no longer with us.

The composer, in the 200th anniversary year of his birth, simply couldn’t have asked for more from the assembled forces.

Former Dartington Choir director John Railton, in whose fond memory the work was ultimately given, would surely have been overjoyed to have had such a rousing send-off.

But the way everyone involved gave their absolute all must have made present conductor Jonathan Watts, pictured, feel incredibly fulfilled.

His quite inspirational leadership and enthusiasm from the front, allied to such a sense of overarching musicality is indeed a rare, though absolutely fundamental combination.

The well-disciplined choir was on scintillating form, with the ability to cope with the work’s tremendous power when called for, while equally able to produce such ethereal pianissimos.

The large orchestra, led with great assurance by Brenda Willoughby, matched this to perfection, with some notably fine sectional playing.

Even if not all of the soloists’ contributions were consistent in terms of pitch or delivery on the night, this in no way detracted from the unmitigated success of the performance, which surely must rank as the choral highlight of the year so far.


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