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Review: Ipswich Choral Society premieres The Affirming Flame at Snape concert

PUBLISHED: 19:41 08 April 2019

Ipswich Choral Society performing at Snape Maltings Concert Hall where they gave audiences works by Mozart and the premiere of a new piece by Tom Randle Photo: Matthew Clarke

Ipswich Choral Society performing at Snape Maltings Concert Hall where they gave audiences works by Mozart and the premiere of a new piece by Tom Randle Photo: Matthew Clarke

Matthew Clarke MCIHT BPE3*

Review: The Affirming Flame, by Tom Randle, Ipswich Choral Society, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, April 6.

On Saturday April 6, Ipswich Choral Society gave us a splendid evening of Mozart, plus the world premiere of Tom Randle’s ‘The Affirming Flame’. It was pleasing to see the choir perform the opening two motets without music, a practice much to be encouraged.

Tom Randle’s accomplished new piece is a setting of five war poems for choir, bass and soprano, and includes ‘The Parcel’ by local poet Pam Job. The present writer thought he heard the influence of Britten here, and the modern idiom would be a challenge for any choral society. ICS rose to the challenge and gave us a nuanced performance full of varied moods.

In 2019, Cem Mansur celebrates 20 years as President of ICS. After the interval, musical director Robin Walker generously passed the baton to Cem, who proceeded to give us a high energy reading of the ever-popular Mozart Requiem. The four excellent soloists blended well and were most ably supported by a choir who were on the top of their form. Ipswich Choral Society continues to grow and improve in all departments, and are now providing local audiences with music of excellent quality. We wish them well as they prepare for their upcoming Italian tour and we thank them for Saturday’s polished performance.

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