Temple Balsall

vrijdag 11 november 2011

This choir, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year and comes from Zwolle, east of Amsterdam, numbered 26 singers for this tour and was directed by Martien Hovestad. They are great ambassadors and enthusiasts for the English choral tradition and whilst they are not affiliated to one particular church, their repertoire is mainly sacred. They decided to tour the Midlands this year and searched the internet for churches with good open spaces for music. So our website is putting St Marys on the international map! The quality of their work was excellent. The programme included hymns of Unity, appropriately representing their solidarity with us, and some very characteristic English music such as Stanford´s famous Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G, and Sumsion´s picture painting of calm and stormy seas in "They that go down to the sea in ships". Tomkins’ achingly beautiful "When David heard that Absolom was slain" was poignantly delivered, and the concert concluded with a hymn tune composed by Martien himself. Whilst much of the singing was unaccompanied, the organist, Mannes Hofsink, rose admirably to the technical challenges posed by the Sumsion and Stanford, and also offered two modern interludes, by Verrips and the Welsh composer William Mathias. Of the two, the Verrips concerto was the more exciting on our organ, but Mannes did show what very varied effects can be got from St Mary’s Porrit organ, ably assisted by his registrant, who in the best European tradition assisted by pushing and pulling out the various stops required, to give light and shade to the music. An enthusiastic audience of about forty thoroughly enjoyed this musical treat. After the concert the choir met with audience to enjoy a glass of wine together. We look forward to welcoming them again, after the organ’s forthcoming refurbishment.


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