Bach Choir in fine voice

Under the rousing nostalgic banner of Make a Joyful Noise, the Aberdeen Bach Choir performed a memorable programme at St Machar's Cathedral last night. The evening included works by Bernstien, three neglected British composer - William Matthias, Malcolm Williamson and Geoffrey Bush - and a work by the Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez, who is probably most famous for his Missa Criolla. Since the Navidad Nuestra by Ramirez was sung in the original Latin American Spanish, Bach Choir director Gordon Jack went to the lengths of producing spoken recordings of each part of the work to allow choir members to practise pronunciation. Such attention to detail paid off handsomely during last night's thrilling performance.

The Bach Choir consistently fields first-class soloists and accompanists. They were in excellent hands last night with Drew Tulloch on organ and piano, Isabel John and Christopher Overton on percussion, the superb harpist Helen MacLeod and the young, gifted, north-east born guitarist Ian Watt.

It was the young soprano from Lancaster, Julia Doyle, however, who made the audience sit up with her crystal-clear, beautiful voice. In the solo parts of Geoffrey Bush's thoughful and evocative Christmas Cantata she brought something unique to the music - herself. Most of last night's music relied on ancient traditional works and there was a feeling that they might have been written for Doyle's timeless voice.

With the superb Bach Choir singing around her like a warm sea, the mood of seasonal authenticity was overwhelming.

Reproduced from The Press and Journal Monday 8 December 2008 by kind permission of Roddy Phillips


Page last updated 8 December, 2008 by Ian Downie