Handel - The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Handel - Chandos Anthem "Oh praise the lord with one consent" HWV 254
Vivaldi - Dixit Dominus
Handel Concerto Grosso Op.6 no.11
Bach - Magnificat
Conductor - Ashley Grote
Leader - Jim O'Toole
EASTERN DAILY PRESS:
From the brisk to the serene
Jim O'Toole's Norwich Baroque opened with the arrival of the Queen of Sheba at a brisk pace with exhilarating oboes putting an edge on the celebrations.
Later it went on to a delightfully crisp, intimate performance of Handel's Concerto Grosso in A.
Then, as more and more instruments joined the strings, it accompanied Ashley Grote's Cathedral Consort in three sacred works: Oh Praise the Lord with one consent (One of Handel's grand Chandos Anthems), Vivaldi's Dixit Dominus and Bach's Magnificat.
With full tone, and quite at home in the florid style of the music, the tenor Daniel Bartlette and the bass Dhilan Gnanadurai, both lay clerks, were confident and authoritative. Esther Platten and Joanna Betts (sopranos) and Alexander Turner (countertenor) were at their best when briefly combining into a trio.
The woodwinds, especially the pair of flutes (Annabel Knight and Lesley Holliday) added emotion and serene, restrained beauty to the solos.
Some 50 singers made up the balanced chorus that had to respond quickly in a series of relatively short interventions. In the Gloria at the end of the Magnificat it grasped its moment for grandeur as the work concluded with the sound of trumpets and drums.