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A Review of our Concert on 19th November 2005
Contributed by Jeffery Fraser



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Hail! Bright Cecilia
If you were not in Beaminster Church last Saturday evening you missed a treat. The concert 'Hail! Bright Cecilia', given by the Beaminster Singers in honour of the Patron Saint of music, drew a capacity audience who will be reminiscing for a long time about such an enjoyable evening.

An impressive array of performers, all under the inspired baton of Musical Director Hilary Kenway, included choir and soloists, organist Anthony Saunders (kept busy moving between piano and two organs), and an orchestra led by Ronald Easey which provided commendable accompaniments throughout.

A rousing Fanfare and chorus from Purcell's Ode for St Cecilia's Day was followed by Handel's Chandos anthem, O Praise the Lord with One Consent, the choir responding enthusiastically to Hilary's leadership with secure, springy rhythm. The soprano aria was beautifully sung by Nicola Wydenbach.

Stephanie Bodsworth joined Nicola for Haydn's Jugendmesse. These two young singers, already consummate musicians, were perfectly synchronised in the exquisitely performed duets. Good tonal contrast from the choir included some lovely soft singing.

In Brahms' solo Ye now are sorrowful from the German Requiem, Nicola's clean attack and beautiful phrasing, with well balanced choir support, held the listeners in rapt silence as the music just floated out: this was a very moving performance. The solos in Mendelssohn's ever-popular Hear my Prayer sung by Stephanie Bodsworth with radiant tone and immaculate technique, were effectively enhanced by the choir's soft singing (which seems to be their forte). These soloists gave highly professional, delightful and memorable performances.

Haydn's Te Deum in C, a jolly romp of a piece, concluded this outstanding evening of fine music on a cheerful note.




Photos © Debbie Johnson, 2005