Review of the King’s School Ely’s Gala Choral Concert in Ely Cathedral on 18th March 2011

The concert was dedicated to the memory of Clara Taylor, a lady of considerable charisma who, judging from the impressive speech she gave at a summer school I attended, showed considerable empathy with young musicians working hard to develop their pianistic talents. This warmth and understanding of what inspires performers to create good music was undeniably the foundation of this wonderful concert presented by the King’s School Ely. With notable ease, the huge choir and orchestra from the Cathedral and the school community filled the octagon and   gave the two works they presented very good measure.

Under the baton of Paul Trepte, Director of Music of Ely Cathedral, Gloria by Vivaldi contained moments of brisk exhilaration, quiet, gentle reverence and powerful, unaffected clarity and light. The performers included King’s School Chapel Choir, the Cathedral Choir, King’s Chorale, James Farmer (treble), Karl Reid (Countertenor) and Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir (sopranos) and the orchestra under the leadership of Helen Medlock. Highlights were definitely a particularly serene and cohesive Et in terra pax and the exquisite Domine Deus featuring Ely Cathedral chorister, James Farmer.

Inspired, rhythmically potent conducting by Ian Sutcliffe brought to life the culminating work for the evening: Requiem by Mozart. A different group of soloists coloured Mozart’s lines beautifully. They were Tara Bungard (soprano), music teachers at King’s, Ashley Harries (Countertenor) and James Rees (bass), and New Zealander Nick Madden (tenor).

The chorus and orchestra performed with impressive precision, warmth and grandeur. The drama and menacing intervals of the Dies Irae, the stark contrasts of Confutatis, and potent counterpoint in  Hostias were just a few of the wonderful effects developed by these first rate musicians. This was indeed a most impressive concert.

Contacts:

For information about future events and the CD contact lisabushell@kings-ely.cambs.sch.uk (01353) 653931 or music@kings-ely.cambs.sch.uk

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