Henley Standard Property


Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
Review: Stormy weather goes Biblical
Published 24/02/14

THIS first 40th anniversary concert by the Pangbourne Choral Society was a real tour de force under the baton of music director Jonathan Brown.

Elijah demands sustained expressive singing from soloists and chorus working in close harmony to bring to life one of the finest stories in the Old Testament. We knew we were on to something good from the very start — baritone Quentin Hayes in the leading role opened quietly with a warning to the unfaithful Israelites that they will have no rain. Then the chorus erupted into a desperate cry of “Help Lord! Wilt thou quite destroy us?” The power of this opening reverberated through the chapel’s brilliant acoustics - and it was riveting.

This performance was pure dramatic energy, enacted with conviction and total commitment. At its heart was the quartet of excellent soloists. Tenor Richard Coxon sang as if he were at the Royal Opera House. As Jezebel, mezzo Claire Williams stirred the people towards a choral climax that was totally convincing, and soprano Claire Seaton rose above the mayhem to exhort the Israelites to better ways through her angelic arias.

And was it fanciful to feel that the stormy climax — The Waters Gather, They Rush Along — reflected the stormy scenes of the Thames Valley? At times the tempo was fast and furious, but the words of the story were seldom lost.

The Pangbourne Chorus was in fine voice and vital in creating this dramatic musical narrative. As the priests of Baal they launched into the 2-choir/4-part choruses, vainly exhorting their god with rising intensity in response to Elijah’s taunts.

And the ladies, as angels, came into their own in the unaccompanied Lift thine eyes to the mountains in a show of rare sensitive expression. In particular, one noticed a rich, sonorous vein of Alto singing.

So we came to the finale And then shall your light break forth as the light of morning breaketh. Even at the end of this monumental work, the Choir managed to sustain a strong, harmonious and majestic conclusion.

Many in the audience and in the choir must have braved the floods and the gales to come to this 40th Anniversary concert. Jonathan Brown should be delighted at the progress made by his charges. They delivered something really special worthy of celebrating the 40th anniversary of a hard-working local choir.


Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel,

Saturday, February 15

Peter Hayward

PUBLISHED 24/02/14

Murder investigation launched
Cyclist left fighting for his life
Removal firm on the move
Pub wins vegan award
We must save pubs, says real ale campaigner
Student caught up in Paris terror attacks
RBH specialists support junior doctors strike
Regular becomes Brakspear “poster boy”
Wales Rally GB wraps up the season
‘Great expectations’ were more than met
Does your cat need a hotel at Christmas?
Workers of the world unite... in admiration
Picanto’s appetising upgrade
Where your pets will feel at home
Your tree’s waiting for you here
Henley’s Christmas market starts today
Artists’ show is back for end of November
New nursery has places for pre-schoolers
Help with home improvement and design
Your timber windows deserve some TLC
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
MP presses Minister on Henley aircraft noise
Maintenance man clocks up 55 years in same job
Dinner marks Upper Thames' season
School turns old tree into cladding
Charity chairman retires after 24 years
Top Videos
Most Popular
Higgs Group
Tel: 01491 419400
Tel: 01491 419419
Tel: 01491 149429
Tel: 01491 419499
Tel: 01491 419449
  HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD. Telephone (01491) 419400  
© Higgs & Co (Printing) Limited 2012  |  Registered in England number 1418717