Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus concerts 2005–06

Saturday September 10th 2005, Heaton Park, Manchester

  • Proms in the Park

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Stephen Bell

Saturday October 15th 2005, Sheffield City Hall

  • Walton: Coronation Te Deum
  • Parry: Blest Pair of Sirens
  • Holst: Movements from The Planets
  • Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
  • Elgar: Enigma Variations

Nelson Goerner (piano)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder

“Walton’s Coronation Te Deum and Parry’s Best Pair of Sirens under Darius Battiwalla [...] sounded splendid when the Phil were raising the roof.” Sheffield Telegraph

“The celebratory second half began with Walton’s Te Deum, allowing Darius Battiwalla the chance, as conductor, to show how well the Philharmonic Chorus can now cope with such daunting orchestration.” Sheffield Star

Friday December 2nd 2005, Sheffield City Hall

  • Handel: The Messiah (Mozart's edition)

Angharad Gruffyd Jones (soprano), Sarah Castle (alto)
Joshua Ellicott (tenor), Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Northern Sinfonia, Darius Battiwalla

“The Phil Chorus sang magnificently for their director and the performance conductor Darius Battiwalla. They were almost faultless in terms of diction, projection, balance, even with under-populated tenor ranks, and often provided exceptional choral singing, a superb example being the textural clarity for a big chorus in For Unto Us a Child.” Sheffield Telegraph

Saturday December 17th 2005, Sheffield City Hall

  • Christmas Concert

Henry Kelly (compere)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Manchester Camerata, Darius Battiwalla

Saturday February 11th 2006, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

  • Shostakovich: Symphony no.13
  • Shostakovich: Symphony no.12

John Tomlinson (bass)

Huddersfield Choral Society, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Bulava Chorus

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Vassily Sinaisky

(broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on February 13th 2006)

“The great Sir John Tomlinson, three male choirs, Sinaisky and his orchestra combined in a wonderful performance.” Sunday Telegraph

“John Tomlinson was the dramatically instinctive soloist in a stunning performance of the 13th Babi-Yar Symphony, capturing the changes from paradox to poignancy.” The Independent

“Performances in the symphony series have been in many cases unforgettable. [...]John Tomlinson was declamatory in his solo role — and combined forces from the Huddersfield Choral Society, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Bulava Chorus produced excellent timbre. This was superbly sustained — one of the great marathons of the festival.” Manchester online

Saturday February 18th 2006, Sheffield City Hall

  • Mozart: Davidde Penitente
  • Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel, Rosenkavalier Suite

Wendy Dawn Thompson (soprano), Elizabeth Watts (soprano), Paul Agnew (tenor)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz

“The Philharmonic Chorus appeared to be in good, fulsome voice and sounded particularly imposing in the Bach-ian Se vuoi puniscimi.” Sheffield Telegraph

Saturday March 25th 2006, Sheffield City Hall

  • Tippett: A Child of Our Time
  • Beethoven: Symphony no.1

Gweneth-Ann Jeffers (soprano), Margaret McDonald (alto), Alan Oke (tenor), Roland Wood (baritone)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Hallé Orchestra, Andre de Ridder

“Sometimes the quality of a performance can allow one to simply be carried away with the composer's voice. Through the Hallé and the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Tippett spoke clearly and convincingly of the link between oppression and terrorism. [...] the last word should go to the Philharmonic Chorus, coached by Darius Battiwalla and fired by de Ritter and the Hallé into a distillation of Tippett’s message, particularly in the spirituals, so that after Deep River we were left with a universal longing for ‘That Land where all is peace’.” Sheffield Star

Saturday May 20th 2006, Leeds Town Hall

  • Berlioz: Te Deum
  • Debussy: La damoiselle élue
  • Ravel: Mother Goose Suite

Catherine Wyn Rogers (mezzo soprano), Adrian Thompson (tenor)

Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, David Hill

“The greater rarity was Debussy’s setting of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s poem The Blessed Damozel [...] expressed with a voluptuousness beautifully captured by the choruses, and by mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn Rogers. [...] The performance of Berlioz’s Te Deum was [...] a vibrant and sturdy experience. [...] The powerful singing of the opening hymn (Te Deum laudamus) and the following Tibi omnes [...] made sensational listening. [...] The whole performance ended with a powerful blaze of colour, Judex crederis, bringing out the best of both great choral societies.” Yorkshire Post

Saturday June 3rd 2006, Sheffield City Hall

  • Opera Gala

Alwyn Mellor (soprano), Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts (tenor)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Manchester Camerata, Martin André

Saturday July 1st 2006, St George's Hall, Bradford

  • Delius: Sea Drift
  • Delius: Violin Concerto, Walk to the Paradise Garden
  • Fenby: Rossini on Ilkla Moor
  • Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

Tasmin Little (violin)

James Rutherford (baritone)

Leeds Festival Chorus, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Rumon Gamba

(broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on July 3rd 2006, repeated October 12th 2006)

“Best by far was Sea Drift, Delius’s magnificent cantata to words by Walt Whitman. James Rutherford brought nobility and fervour to the baritone solos, the BBC Philharmonic came into its own, and the combined Leeds [Festival] and Sheffield Philharmonic Choirs filled the St George’s Hall with refulgent tone. This is evidently a work close to Gamba’s heart, and he steered it unerringly towards and away from its passionate high points.” Daily Telegraph

“James Rutherford was a passionate, moving soloist, surrounded by the stirring voices of the Leeds Festival Chorus and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus.” The Times

“‘Delius Inspired’ is the title Tasmin Little chose for her festival celebrating Bradford’s greatest musical son, and the opening concert was inspired indeed. [...] James Rutherford rose and fell exquisitely within the complex and passionate texture supplied by the orchestra and superb Leeds Festival and Sheffield Philharmonic Choruses in Sea Drift, arguably the most perfect of Delius’s large-scale works.” Yorkshire Post