Bach’s compendium – Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus /Royal Northern Sinfonia, City Hall

Philip Andrews, Sheffield Telegraph, Tuesday 7 April 2019

‘Bach put his Mass in B Minor together at the end of his life from pieces he had prepared earlier.

If it was a belated CV of his best work intended to impress Him upstairs, it would surely have earned him the job as God’s in-house composer when his time came.

It is not simply a setting of the Latin mass but a compendium  of musical styles and moods – often lively and even jolly – designed to show off the talents of its various performers, who here all responded splendidly.

The focus shifts  from choir to soloists to orchestra to single instrumentalists, and all were in impressive form.

The heavy lifting is done by the choir, and our own Philharmonic Chorus was meticulously prepared by Music Director Darius Battiwalla. They responded sharply and sensitively on the night to the admirably clear and precise guidance of conductor Andrew Griffiths whose chamber group with more than its share of youthful talent, offered unobtrusive support and balance. Their soloists stepped out from the ensemble when required with confidence and flair, while the vocal soloists provided the punctuation to the narrative rather than the main thrust.

Most familiar to Yorkshire audiences was soprano Flur Wynn, who regularly appears with Opera North. ably abetted by mezzo soprano Madeleine Shaw, tenor Nick Pritchard and bass-baritone Edward Grint.’

Philip Andrews, Sheffield Telegraph, Tuesday 9 April 2019

Link to the original article in Sheffield Telegraph

Audience comments posted on social media included:

Great concert – superb conductor, orchestra, soloists and choir.

‘Really enjoyed this evening’s Bach Mass in B minor – lots of hard work clearly went into that.’

‘How amazing was tonight’s concert!’

‘Congratulations on a magnificent and moving concert. I thoroughly enjoyed it!’

‘Fabulous concert this evening…… with a conductor who was clearly enjoying working with the chorus’

‘Well done everyone, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you last night. You sounded terrific!’

‘So enjoyed last night’s concert. What an amazing performance.’

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