Musical fireworks

Carmina Burana, Carl Orff, and The Rio Grande, Constant Lambert, Ipswich Choral Society, Great Hall, Ipswich School, April 26 This was always going to be a concert brimming with musical fireworks and the vast array of instruments arranged in a large semicircle in front of the choir seemed to confirm this.

Carmina Burana, Carl Orff, and The Rio Grande, Constant Lambert, Ipswich Choral Society, Great Hall, Ipswich School, April 26

This was always going to be a concert brimming with musical fireworks and the vast array of instruments arranged in a large semicircle in front of the choir seemed to confirm this. It came as a surprise, therefore, to hear soprano soloist Anita Robinson and the choir sweetly sing Ca'the Yowes, a gentle unaccompanied folk song arranged by Vaughan Williams.

However, it was the calm before the storm. A rousing performance, on two pianos, played by Timothy Carey and Martin Sanders- Hewitt, of the quirky Fantasy on George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, by Percy Grainger, paved the way for the title pieces.

The choir, with alto soloist Julie Taylor, conducted by Stephen Rumsey, the two pianists and six percussionists united to perform The Rio Grande. I felt that the choir were somewhat cautious and lacked a little vitality.


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There was no such problem with Carmina Burana. The entire ensemble gave a stunning rendition of this work. The choir was on fine form and conveyed their evident enjoyment in the work. There were some lovely cameos from the soloists, soprano Rosamund Walton and baritone Nick Fowler. The percussionists had a daunting task moving between the six timpani, drum kits, xylophone, glockenspiel, cymbals and gong as well as their numerous smaller pieces of kit - all requiring intense concentration.

Whilst having no wish to offend any of the excellent musicians and singers, the undoubted stars of the evening were the two pianists. Each of their three pieces was formidable and yet they gave the impression of effortlessness. Nevertheless, well done to everyone.

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Judith Newman

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