An English Christmas review by Marius Grose

I wonder if in the future the choir will present a Christmas concert that features music from this century. If they do I shall be buying a ticket. Marius Grose

Bristol Choral Society’s Christmas concert under the direction of Hilary Campbell was a welcome change from the usual musical fare served up at this time of year, and a departure from their traditional offering of Handel’s Messiah. While carols were very much at the heart of the program the works performed were a bit more unusual. Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols put
the choir through its paces and they executed the work with precision of rhythm and clarity of diction. The harp interlude was a beautiful contrast to the choir’s delicious ensemble sound.
Christmas themed pieces by Vaughan Williams, Holst and Finzi made up the rest of the concert
and again the choir presented each composer’s work with a great attention to detail and accuracy. Soloists were soprano Gwen Martin and baritone Rene Bloice-Sanders; special mention also to the harpist Anne Denholm.
I wonder if in the future the choir will present a Christmas concert that features music from this century. If they do I shall be buying a ticket. Of course there will be those who will be disappointed that the choir did not perform Handel’s Messiah as they have done on previous years, but a rest is as good as a feast and this was a rich meal from the twentieth century. However anyone who has missed the Messiah experience will have a chance to sing it with the choir in April.
Marius Grose