Come and Sing event
Singers - £12
Audience - Free
The Society performs three concerts with the orchestra and chorus every year in the Haslemere Hall. An additional orchestral concert is held in St Christopher’s Church, Weyhill, often featuring a soloist from within the orchestra.
|Holst||Short Festival Te Deum|
|Chausson||Symphony in B-flat|
|Chorus and Orchestra||Sibelius : Karelia Suite
Baermann Concertstück for Clarinet: Concertstück for Clarinet Helen Owlett, clarinet
Wagner : Scenes from Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
One could describe the Haslemere Musical Society’s recent concert as something like the curate’s egg: it was extremely good in parts. This enterprising chorus and orchestra have gone from strength to strength under their current conductor James Ross, and their programme attracted a full house.
Perhaps the high point was a performance of local composer Clive Osgood’s Alleluia, shortlisted in last year’s BBC Carol Competition and therefore heard in its piano version several times by Radio 3 devotees. Patrons at the concert, however, were treated to the much more effusive orchestral version, which sounded really effective and a good foil for Osgood’s gentle tunes and haunting harmonies.
In the same subdued vein was Fauré’s enchanting Cantique de Jean Racine, written when the composer was just nineteen. Again with haunting tunes and harmonies, this required a bit more ‘lift’ from the choir, although the orchestral accompaniment was excellent.
The main choral work was Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit, a work intended for liturgical use rather than for performance in a concert hall. Whether because the different forces could not see each other, or because of nerves on the night, this performance unfortunately did not work out quite as intended. But there were traces of Charpentier’s lovely dance rhythms (the piece is based on eleven Noëls), and when the performers did manage to get it all together the choir produced some lovely gentle sonorities with some effective work from the semi-chorus.
More confident in every respect was the opening item: a rousing psalm setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Agnostic the composer may have been (he was a great nephew of Charles Darwin) but his O Clap your Hands radiates the joy of the words, and the performance reflected this.
There were two purely orchestral items. Bizet’s second L’Arlésienne Suite was compiled after the composer’s death, and contains some lovely solos, particularly from the principal flute (Lucy Hatcher). Here Clive Osgood played the harp part on the keyboard to great effect. The final Farandole, with its clever combination of two melodies, received a very lively performance, as did the Troika from Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kizhé. Shelagh Godwin
Visit the concert archive to see the programmes and reviews from previous seasons.