Sunday 3 December 2006 in St Machar's Cathedral

Aberdeen Bach Choir: Musical Director Gordon Jack.

Roger Williams and Harry Williamson, Organ.

Performance at 7:45 p.m.

J.S. Bach: Jesu Meine Freude

Arvo Pärt: Cantate Domino

Marcel Dupré: Four Motets

Charles-Marie Widor: Messe

St Machar’s debut for new man with baton

Review by Roddy Phillips

Last night’s concert by the Aberdeen Bach Choir in St Machar’s Cathedral was the first performance conducted by the choir’s newly appointed musical director, Gordon Jack.

It is not an easy role to fulfil by any means since his predecessor, the late James Lobban, conducted the choir to great acclaim for 37 years and was responsible for shaping its distinctive sound.

A former member of the Chorus of English National Opera, Mr Jack comes with all the right credentials and he has earned considerable reputation for his work with choirs. He was certainly in command last night, helping the choir create that trademark sound.

Last night’s recital was made even more memorable by the fact that it was dedicated to the memory of James Lobban. Bach’s Motet Jesu meine Freude, Cantate Domino by Arvo Pärt, Four Motets by Dupre and Widor’s Mass for two choirs and two solo organ works by Bach and Franck performed by Roger Williams made up a programme distinguished as much by its technical excellence as its majesty.

When the choir is at full throttle, as they were in certain movements of the Widor Mass, there are few choral sounds around so uplifting. This is obviously the start of a new chapter for them. In Gordon Jack’s hands I have a feeling it will be a very fruitful one.

The Aberdeen Bach Choir’s next recital of Monteverdi’s Vespers will be on April 29 at St Machar’s Cathedral.

Aberdeen Press & Journal Monday 4th December, 2006
Reproduced by kind permission of Roddy Phillips