Concert archive

29-11-2014 Prelude to Christmas

Norwich Baroque, soprano Jayne May-Sysum, Minstrels' Gallery, mince pies, mulled wine and Baroque Christmas gems in comfortable, warm surroundings. It was a treat to enjoy an early Christmas concert with our friends, full of variety.
Norwich Central Baptist Church:
Director - Jim O'Toole
Soprano - Jayne May-Sysum
Minstrels Gallery.

O magnum Mysterium - Victoria
Concerto a Quattro Op8 no6 - Per il Santissimo Natale - Torelli
Minstrels Gallery
Cantata Pastorale - Scarlatti
Messiah excerpts
Winter from the Four Seasons
Minstrels Gallery
Ein Kleines Kindelein - Tunder
Concerto Grosso Op6 no8 - Fatto per la note di natale - Corelli
Coventry Carol - O'Toole


Christmas is a coming in, loudly sing cuckoo, tu-whit and the Sussex Carol and play crum-horn, psaltery and lute. In other word and sounds, Minstrels Gallery had come to add a Medieval dimension to this imaginatively planned seasonal concert by Jim O'Toole's Norwich Baroque.

An instrumental setting of Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium had a spiritual quality , and concertos by Torelli and Corelli echoed in their elegant ways the music of the shepherds at the crib on Holy night. So did the Pastoral Symphony from Messiah.

It was flanked by "he shall feed his flock" and "I know that my redeemer liveth". The arias were performed with an apt touch of ornament by the clear toned soprano Jayne May-Sysum.

The Winter Adagio from Vivadli's Four Seasons was a delightfully crisp and lively piece of string playing. A Rose has Sprung Up was full of charm in its traditional simplicity. A Little Child by Franz Tunder, who was born 400 years ago on a Baltic Island, had a fascinating rich mixture of styles. An encore would have been welcome.
Christopher Smith