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A review of Britten Sinfonia and the Sixteen in Ely Cathedral, November 2019

Author: Dr Rosemary Westwell Published: 11th November 2019 10:17

 Ely Cathedral

A review of Britten Sinfonia and the Sixteen in Ely Cathedral, November 2019

Harry Christophers, Britten Sinfonia and the Sixteen have earned a tremendous reputation. This was evident in an amazing concert they gave in Ely Cathedral on Saturday night as part of the Cambridge Music Festival...

Harry Christopher's unique style of conducting not only gave a firm sense of pulse but reflected the different styles and moods of the varied sections and messages within the pieces. It was as if he were choreographing the works and the performers responded immediately.

The full programme included Sir James MacMillan's ‘Misere', Tallis's ‘Why fum'th in fight', Vaughan William's ‘Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis' and Macmillan's ‘Stabat Mater'.

Each piece was performed with superb technique from both choir and orchestra. The Sixteen sang with intuitive cohesion and impeccable precision and yet never lost sight of the inherent creativity and musicality of the works. The quality of their voices was phenomenal.

Britten Sinfonia rose to every challenge especially the huge demands on them in James MacMillan's ‘Stabat Mater'. Every effect was exquisitely explored ranging from producing the rich, warm and expansive texture of Vaughan William's ‘Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis' to MacMillan's meaningful exploration of passion and tension in his ‘Stabat Mater'.

The was indeed a splendid evening.










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