Conductors of large-scale choirs have quite a bit in common with football managers. Not only must they direct the performance and motivate the performers, but they also have to choose soloists who are not only strong individually, but are also good team-players, and ideally those who can bring something fresh on the day.
University of Plymouth Choral Society conductor Simon Ible is right up there with Sir Alex on both counts, even if his approach on the day is diametrically opposed.
Mozart’s Requiem has more than its fair share of soloists’ concerted items and here the voices of Hye-Youn Lee (soprano), Clare Presland (mezzo-soprano), Mark Chaundy (tenor) and Simon Thorpe (baritone) blended perfectly together, while each showed outstanding vocal prowess on their own.
The choir was in good voice throughout, singing with that essential show of enthusiasm that has become a hallmark of their work, with the UPCS Sinfonia, under Mary Eade’s assured leadership, providing a suitably buoyant accompaniment throughout.
Even if the opening choice of music by Purcell was dictated more by the resources available, in what might otherwise have been an all-Mozart programme, the packed audience was still treated to a superb evening’s music-making, and one which was perfectly formed, in terms of length.
PHILIP R BUTTALL