Review: Trianon Music Group, St John The Baptist Church, Ipswich

Trianon Music Group at St John the Baptist Church, Ipswich. Picture: GEOFF ROGERS

Trianon Music Group at St John the Baptist Church, Ipswich. Picture: GEOFF ROGERS - Credit: Geoff Rogers

Performed beneath the great red-brick Gothic arches of St John’s church by Trianon Music Group, the concert started with three motets by Charles Villiers Stanford, sung a capella by the Trianon choir.

These delicate meditative compositions with their echoing vocal lines set the mood for contemplation, and gave little hint of the tide of emotion aroused by the pieces to come, both of which were unfamiliar to me.

The orchestra, conducted by musical director Chris Green, first excelled themselves in the Dvorak 8th symphony. From the opening soulful melody of the cellos through to the raucous whirlwind of timpani and winds, I was plunged into the world of Bohemia.

From all sections came a sense of exhilaration which was highly contagious and, by the time the fanfare heralded the raging tides of the fourth movement, I felt a child’s excitement at the sheer power of the sound waves they were unleashing.

Then in the second part it was another journey into the delightful quintessence of peace that soprano Julia Roberts offered in the Kyrie of Gounod’s Messe Solemnelle de Sainte Cécile. Her voice, floating effortlessly high above the choir, seemed like the very “shining ray” streaming from the Mass of which Saint-Saëns spoke.

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A quiet magical start which gave way to the build-up of grandiose dramatic chorus drawing on the fused energy of soloists, choir, orchestra and organ. With their vibrant voices still resounding in my ear, I went home happier and more alive than I had been when I arrived.

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