Archive for April, 2014

‘Heartbreakingly moving’

The following review of the St.Matthew Passion concert on Saturday 12th April 2014 was prepared by Keith Nixon for publication in the Sunderland Echo :

“J.S. Bach’s monumental choral masterpiece, the St. Matthew Passion, depicting the final hours of Jesus’ life and death, held the audience at Sunderland Minster transfixed for more than three hours.

The Bishopwearmouth Choral Society, on this occasion augmented by its Ryton counterpart, is well known for its magnificent renditions of choral pieces but this performance was simply breathtaking. A stunning line-up of young soloists drawn from DurhamUniversity and across the North-East beautifully complemented two professional singers on top form.

Conductor David Murray maintained a flowing pace throughout with the narrative action propelled forward by tenor Daniel Norman in the role of the Evangelist. Christ was exquisitely performed by Philip Smith – his impassioned delivery of the words ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ was heartbreakingly moving.

In a performance of such high quality, one moment stood out. The heart-wrenching ‘Erbarme Dich’, introduced by violinist Martin Hughes’ aching lament, was delivered with total conviction by mezzo-soprano Sarah Ryan. Hughes’ fine playing was typical of the orchestra whose members accompanied the arias with delicate care and refinement.

Among many other aria highlights were: Camilla Harris’ ‘Aus Liebe’; Elen Lloyd Roberts’ ‘Ich will dir mein Herze schenken’; Ben Rowarth’s ‘Komm, susses Kreuz’; Simon Lee’s Geduld; Marnie Blair’s ‘Buss und Reu’ and Polly Leech’s ‘Können Tränen’.

The choirs were in full voice, singing with focus and clarity, switching emotions effortlessly from the rage of a bloodthirsty mob to the anguish and pain of Christ’s disciples. The chorales were movingly sung and the singers sounded as fresh at the end of the concert as they were at the beginning – no mean feat in such a demanding and challenging work.

The final chorus (‘Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder’) was followed by a collective silence – a time for the audience to reflect on what had been a spiritually moving experience and a triumph for all concerned.”

Keith Nixon

Society Dinner – June 6th 2014

The Choral Society are holding their Dinner on Friday 6th June 2014, at 7.00 for 7.30 p.m. in the Restaurant of The Rosedene, Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland, SR2 9BT, to which all members and their families, patrons and their friends are cordially invited.

The cost of the dinner will be £20.00 which excludes all drinks but the restaurant has a licensed bar offering a full range of wines and drinks.

Bookings need to be submitted, with the appropriate payment, before Wednesday 21st May with the choices for your party. booking forms with full details and the menu on offer are obtainable from the Secretary or Society members.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Start of rehearsals for Summer concert

Rehearsals start again after Easter on Wednesday 30th April at the more usual time of 7.30 p.m. We will be preparing for the concert on Saturday June 21st 2014 which will be in conjunction with the Edinburgh Quartet.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Autumn Fair – Nov. 22nd 2014

A Saturday morning event in Fulwell Methodist Church from 10 a.m. till 12 m.d.

Why not join the Society in a social event which comes with a raffle and stalls (including Christmas crafts), while enjoying the tea/coffee, scones and a chat