Archived Concerts 2010 – 2011

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2010 – 2011

Saturday 6th November 2010 7:30pm
Royal Concert HallKARL JENKINS Requiem
J S BACH MagnificatElizabeth Hull Soprano
Nicola Semple Mezzo soprano
David Walder Tenor
Paul Charrier Bass
Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) Clive BellQueens Park Sinfonia
Conductor – Richard Laing
Organ – Philip White-Jones

YouTube links:
Karl Jenkins discusing his Requiem

Opening of Bach’s Magnificat

Onmes generationes Bach

Fecit potentiam Magnificat

The season opened with a radical combination of ancient and modern:
Karl Jenkins’ Requiem, which itself intersperses the traditional words of the Requiem Mass with settings of evocative Japanese poems, and J.S. Bach’s exquisitely glorious Magnificat, written nearly 300 years earlier, in 1723.
Review: Monday 8 November 2010. Nottingham Evening Post

The Harmonic Choir under Richard Laing was joined by the excellent Queen’s Park Sinfonia for a concert which brought together two very different choral masterpieces, J.S. Bach’s joyful setting of the Magnificat, composed in 1723, and the highly original 2005 Requiem by Karl Jenkins, who has been called the world’s most frequently performed living composer.Together with soloists Elizabeth Hull, Nicola Semple, David Walder, Paul Charrier and Julie King, the Choir and Orchestra succeeded in bringing out the sense of gentle intimacy which Bach creates, as well as the feeling of overflowing happiness which suffuses the Biblical text. The Sinfonia’s trumpeters excelled, and Philip White-Jones provided nimble accompaniment on the Concert Hall organ.Jenkins has achieved huge popularity for his very individual way of combining different musical styles to create a distinctively accessible sound. His Requiem interweaves the traditional Latin text with five Japanese haikus on the theme of transience. It was immediately clear that the Choir loved this work with all its eloquent contrasts; there was beautiful control of texture and pace and a sense that the performers were opening up a meditative space for the listener. The haiku settings, with bamboo flute
accompaniment, created a feeling of stillness.

Grahame Whitehead

Saturday 4th December 2010 7:00pm
Royal Concert HallHANDEL MessiahMartene Grimson Soprano
Andrew Radley Countertenor
Richard Edgar-Wilson Tenor
Matthew Brook Bass-baritoneORCHESTRA DA CAMERA

Organ – Philip White-Jones

Conductor – Richard Laing


Due to illness, Countertenor Andrew Radley was replaced at short notice by Christopher Ainslie

Review: Monday 6 December 2010.
Nottingham Evening Post
VIEWS of Handel’s Messiah have changed dramatically during the last 40 years – from the heavy, over-elaborate versions favoured by post-Victorians to a rediscovery of the scintillating celebration Handel devised.Most of the biblical texts he drew on are meditative. Conductor Richard Laing allowed them all the time in the world to flower.But when the music gathers pace, the results can be dazzling. I can’t recall a Harmonic performance that has matched Saturday’s for immediacy.The clarity of diction helped greatly, and dynamic contrasts were incisively managed. Recitatives and arias intertwined with the choruses to supreme effect. The tenor soloist gripped from the outset (Comfort Ye).

Each famous air was sung with stylish conviction. And the evening scored a double whammy with the soprano’s I Know that My Redeemer Liveth, straight after a Hallelujah Chorus that was an angelic frolic.

This benchmark Messiah was a triumph for Handel.

Peter Palmer

Saturday 18th December 2010 7:00pm
Wednesday 22nd December 2010 7:00pm
Royal Concert Hall

Conductor – Richard Laing


Conductor – Huw Thomas

REVIEW – Nottingham Evenign Post
24 December 2010
TAKE one brass band, add a choir, blend with an organ and enthusiastic audience and you have the perfect recipe for a Christmas carol concert.Nottingham Harmonic Choir’s family carol concert was a stirring affair enjoyed by a packed house.The choir was in good voice throughout their selection of Christmas melodies, some old, some new.A highlight was the premiere of a carol written by composer Tim Sutton,
a former Nottingham High School student, in memory of Lewis Payne, a former treasurer and general secretary of the

The Seven Joys featured the choir, led by Richard Laing, Thoresby Colliery Band, led by Huw Thomas, and the organ, played by John Morehen (who did much sterling work during the concert).

It was well received and looks sure to become an established part of the repertoire for capable choirs.

Thoresby Colliery proved themselves more than capable in their solo spots, mixing pop with swing and classical.

They showed their dexterity during Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla Overture, their power with
Respighi’s Pines of Rome and their control and subtlety during the lovely Canterbury Chorale by Jan van der Roost.

The children were invited on stage to sing Jingle Bells and each received a generous John Lewis voucher (the company sponsored the evening).

The finale was Gordon Langford’s A Christmas Fantasy, featuring choir, band and organ on rousing form.

Richard Ellis

Saturday 12th March 2011 7:30pm
Royal Concert HallPROKOFIEV
Alexander Nevsky
Pictures at an Exhibition
Russian Easter Festival OvertureHalle
Conductor – Cristian Mandeal
Susan Bickley Mezzo sopranoNOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR
This was a Nottingham Classics concert.
Review – Nottingham Evening Post
Royal Concert Hall Saturday 12 March 2011
The Hallé’s all-Russian programme on Saturday night was not only a celebration of the musical might of huge combined orchestral and choral forces – but also of the wide array of individual talent on display. So it was good to see conductor Christian Mandeal bringing sections and individuals to their feet at the end to acknowledge the applause of a large and appreciative audience.Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (as orchestrated by Ravel) is one of the most vividly colourful orchestral showpieces. It ends with a bang in its depiction of the majestic Great Gate of Kiev (everyone playing at full steam with bells, gong, bass drum and cymbals to the fore) but also encompasses some intimate solos on the way. The Hallé’s principal trumpet, tuba player and saxophonist are just a few of those who shone in a performance that brought each picture vividly to life.This same attention to colour and atmosphere was evident elsewhere: in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Festival Overture, for instance, with its powerfully evocative allusions to orthodox chant. But if you want full-powered Technicolor drama you would be hard-pressed to find a Russian work that packs a bigger punch than Prokofiev’s cantata Alexander Nevsky. Here the full-throated and intensely committed contribution of the Nottingham Harmonic Choir (never intimidated by the enormous orchestra) was an essential i
ngredient in a performance that conjured up images that thrilled and moved. Susan Bickley was the soprano soloist, eloquent and moving in her lament for her lost lover.

William Ruff

Southwell 2011 – Fauré REQUIEM
Saturday 28th May 2011 7:30pm
Southwell MinsterFAURÉ Cantique de Jean Racine
BRITTEN Rejoice in the Lamb
GABRIELI Jubilate Deo
ERIC WHITACRE Lux AurumqueConductor – Richard Laing
This was a relaxing and reflective concert including one of the classical favourites, Fauré’s Requiem, a tranquil work ideally suited to the acoustics of Southwell Minster.

To complement this there was an eclectic mix of works ranging from early baroque to the present – some familiar, others possibly new discoveries for some members of the audience.

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