Dixit Dominus Concert
Saturday 22nd April 2017 at St Thomas' Church, Kendal
"An evening of exuberant music making by Levens Choir was enjoyed by a large audience in the wonderful setting of Lancaster Priory on Saturday. The standard of singing was high throughout the evening with the choir, under conductor Ian Jones producing both attractive melodic line and plenty of rhythmic attack. Levens are to be congratulated for encouraging so many young singers to join their ranks, gaining invaluable experience whilst adding a freshness of tone.
To begin the evening we enjoyed a lively piece by Gyorgy Oban, full of rhythmic excitement balanced by a typically Hungarian melody. Emily Robinson then performed the vocal gymnastics required by Vivaldi in his 'In Furore'. This was a skilled and confident performance, complimented by the musicianship of the orchestra under Roland Fudge, whose sensitive playing accompanied much of the programme. Kate Noble sang 'Bist du bei mir' by Stolzel with poise and control. The solos were interspersed by the choir's moving performance of Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei, more popularly known as the orchestral Adagio for Strings. Entries were confident and tonality secure in this more sustained piece.
The duet 'Laudamus Te' showed up a little incompatibility of the two solo voices, but this was more than redeemed in the beautifully judged singing in the De Torrente later in the programme. The first half ended with a Missa Brevis by contemporary Scottish composer, James MacMillan. This was a challenge well met by the choir. I especially loved the Sanctus with its lyrical tenor passage moving into a wonderful rhythmic crescendo.
The Dixit Dominus was a delight, with crisp articulation, and a good dynamic range. It positively danced along! The choir coped brilliantly with its considerable demands on their vocal agility, concentration and stamina. The audience was left breathless with admiration and delight."