Saturday 17th March 2012, St Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster
Haydn and Mozart Requiems
We attended the Michael Haydn Requiem and Mozart Requiem concert last night [17/3/12] at Lancaster Cathedral.
Thank you for an absolutely stunning performance: the Haydn particularly was so moving and superb.
It was a pleasure to hear the choir and Lancashire Sinfonietta together and the sound was beautifully balanced.
The soloists were excellent and had wonderful expressive voices for such young performers.
We will look out for other performances by the choir!
Thanks and congratulations to all concerned.
Sarah Jones and Richard Shepherd
Review of Concert at St Peter’s Cathedral Sat 17th March 2012
Mozart – Requiem
Michael Haydn – Requiem
accompanied by the
This season the Lancaster Singers has presented a series of works that has historical and thereby stylistic cohesion, a journey through mainly religious music from Bach to Mozart, culminating in this excellent performance of the Mozart Requiem. Many of the items performed during this journey may have been unfamiliar to English audiences and singers and I, for one, am grateful for this welcome extension in repertory. Those pieces would of course have been known to and admired by, the contemporary composers of the day.
Two requiems in the season of Lent in the splendid setting of St Peter’s Cathedral, might suggest a rather constrained concert experience but in fact this was an evening of grandeur – trumpets and drums in dramatic use, the Singers in fine form, well accompanied by the accomplished Lancashire Sinfonietta led by Sarah Brandwood Spencer and a quartet of excellent young soloists, Katie Lowe soprano, Miranda Westcott mezzo soprano, Tyler Clarke tenor and Laurence Meikle baritone.
The first requiem by Michael Haydn introduced the audience to a relatively new work. Michael Haydn has been somewhat eclipsed by the fame of his brother Joseph but he was much admired by Mozart and Schubert; he taught Weber and in all this we see that common thread of influence which the season’s concerts have stressed. Written for the Archbishop of Salzburg, this requiem is short on solemnity and may have too much of the magisterial! The output of four trumpets, three trombones and those active timpani made for a difficult balancing exercise with the voices at times, but that is down to the composer!
The influence of this work on the popular Mozart’s Requiem was clear but in this, the orchestra, choir and soloists are given the opportunity to use their musical talents to the full, demonstrating great subtlety and sensitivity in their performance. This concert was an excellent treat for the large and appreciative audience. Director and conductor Marco Fanti received a well-deserved, prolonged ovation and warm tributes were paid to assistant director Mavis Fletcher who has trained and led the Singers during Marco’s absence.
This has been an excellent series of concerts and we look forward to the Singers’ Summer Concerts on 16th June in Crosthwaite Parish Church, Kendal and then repeated in St Paul’s Church Brookhouse on 17th June – details on www.lancastersingers.org.uk