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Winter Concert: Mozart & Britten
Sunday, 22nd November 2015

On Sunday, 22 November, St. Cecilia’s Day, Dunblane Cathedral was absolutely packed for the Rosenethe Singers Mozart and Britten concert, under their conductor Matthew Beetschen.

St. Cecilia’s Day is also the birthday of Benjamin Britten and his lovely “Hymn to Saint Cecilia” with text by W.H. Auden received an atmospheric performance by the choir which was concealed behind the rood screen. The three sections were well contrasted, with the middle section dancing along clearly and rhythmically.

The first item on the programme was Mozart’s Solemn Vespers. This is demanding dynamically as well as technically and the choir began strongly with good bright tone and excellent diction. The momentum was largely maintained, but sharper consonants and stronger vowels would have added more colour. The quartet of soloists, Susan Hamilton, soprano, Carole Clarke, alto, Nicholas Hurndall Smith, tenor and Philip Gault, Bass, performed with assurance, and Susan Hamilton sang sweetly and expressively in the lovely Laudate Dominum.

The concert ended with the dark and powerful Requiem which Mozart never lived to complete.

Here the choir was at its most confident, spitting out the words with great conviction. There was well-defined part-singing, strongly supported by the basses, and the running passages in the Kyrie were most impressive.

The Scottish Bach Players led by Angus Ramsay played with spirit and style, although at times they forgot to scale the sound back when supporting the soloists.

As always, Matthew Beetschen was in full control of his forces, and we are grateful to him and the Rosenethe Singers for their dedication and hard work, and we look forward to their next concert. 

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