Saturday 18th April 2009
Director - Paul Clarke
Conductor - David McKee
Emma Smith - Soprano
Lloyd Griffith - Countertenor
Edward Goater - Tenor
Paul Charrier - Bass
Eastern Daily Press Review - A PERFORMANCE WITH POWER AND INTIMACY
Marking the death of Handel 250 years ago, the 30 singers of David Mckee`s Norwich Cathedral Consort combined with the instrumentalists of Norwich Baroque, led by Paul Clarke, in a performace of the great composer`s Messiah that had grace and skill, respect for the 18th-century musical conventions and attractive contrasts of power and intimacy.
Intensity grew steadily as the oratorio worked up to its spiritual climax, the chorus finding reserves of strength and, equally important, depths of tone.
Clear and simple, Emma Smith`s soprano voice rang out in the angel`s tidings at the Nativity and, to even greater effect, when proclaiming confidence in redemption.
Paul Charrier had elegance though his bass was rather light for arias full of vehement emotions, and the tenor, Edward Goater, avoided anything too dramatic. Like the other soloists, the countertenor, Lloyd Griffith, missed no opportunity to add expressive ornaments to his vocal line.
Live and spritely, Norwich Baroque provided flexible and idiomatic support, with the cellist Philip Trzebiatowski tirelessly shaping the continuo line with unostentatious taste and precision. When at last his moment came, John Coulton thrilled us with his rousing trumpet call.