REVIEW: Society’s Jubilee show brings much jubilation

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Buxton Musical Society Jubilee Concert - St John’s Church, April 29

Outstanding! Thrilling! Wonderful! Just some of the words that come to mind to describe Elgar’s Sea Pictures, the centrepiece of the Musical Society’s special concert to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee and the return of Louise Innes to sing with the society.

Many in the audience will have remembered Louise’s superb performance as the angel in Gerontius. Now her beautiful voice seems to have become even richer and it was absolutely perfect for this work. She admitted afterwards that it was the first time she had sung these songs which makes the confident assurance of her performance all the more astonishing.

Amongst the many memorable moments was the carefully controlled climax to the third song Sabbath Morning at Sea and the triumphant conclusion to the last song The Swimmer.

The programme was completed with music having some connection to the monarch by a selection of English composers and with the Society’s orchestra augmented with a dazzling array of extra brass and percussion.

These included an exciting performance of I was Glad composed by Parry for the Coronation of Edward VII, a somewhat military performance of Crown Imperial written by Walton for the coronation of George VI, Britten’s Gloriana, Vaughan Williams’ Motet O Taste and See composed for the coronation of the present queen and with a lovely soprano solo by the Society’s Jane McNeil and for good measure a stirring performance of Zadok the Priest from Handel’s coronation music.

Elgar, of course, featured prominently. In addition to the main work the programme included his Imperial March written for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and the anthem Great is the Lord with a sensitive bass solo from Andrew Parker.

Altogether a very appropriate programme for a Jubilee celebration resulting in a highly successful concert.

Michael Williams and the Society should be rather pleased with themselves.

Peter Low

l The next concert of the Musical Society will be an orchestral concert on Sunday June 17 in St John’s Church at 7.30pm, featuring a soloist from Chetham’s School.