High Standards in Bach Mass from Ludus Baroque

09/08/2014

  Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 (2) – Bach,  B Minor Mass: Ludus Baroque, Richard Neville-Towle, (conductor), Canongate Kirk, 07.08.2014 (SRT)

Ludus Baroque comes together only a few times a year.  They always do the B minor Mass at the Fringe and, normally, the Christmas Oratorio in December.  They normally precede the B minor mass with a piece of Handel (which has led to some very successful recordings in the past): there was none of that this year, though one chorus member did mention to me that last night they did Handel’s Athalia in Perth, which is no bad thing as Edinburgh isn’t exactly short of things to do in August.

Most of the players and many of the singers are professional musicians so, for a glorified scratch band, the musical standards are extremely high, with pungent winds, sinuous strings and shiny brass, though the timpanist tended to be a little too enthusiastic!  The chorus, too, made a wonderful sound, particularly the tenors who sounded crisp and exciting, and the whole choir was satisfyingly secure on top.

The young quartet of soloists was also very strong, especially soprano Anna Dennis and counter tenor Andrew Radley, whose voices blended beautifully in the Christe and Et in ununm Dominum.  Ed Lyon made a bright tenor, though I’ve never warmed to William Berger’s baritone which, to me, lacks a core, particularly at the bottom.

Music Director Richard Neville-Towle kept the whole thing flowing at an admirable pace, but this didn’t hold up the progress of the stately flow in, say, the Kyrie, and there was a pleasing sense of one-in-a-bar at the big moments, such as Et resurrexit and Et expecto.

 The whole thing sounded magnificent in the airy space of Canongate Kirk, the Queen’s parish church in Edinburgh, specially tailored to the acoustic which is spacious yet intimate.  In short, the concert was a triumph: an excellent evening of music making, and the International Festival hasn’t even begun yet!

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues until 25th August at a range of venues across the city.  For full details click here.

Simon Thompson

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

MW

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! Northampton’s 13th Malcolm Arnold Festival – 13 to 14 October 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Met: Live in HD in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Exciting 2018/19 Cinema Season __________________________________
  • NEW! See Pop-Up Opera’s La Tragédie de Carmen this Autumn __________________________________
  • NEW! This October Carlos Acosta Returns to London to Celebrate Thirty Years in Dance __________________________________
  • NEW! Oxford Chamber Music Festival October 2018 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019 and Beyond __________________________________
  • NEW! Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
 in 2018/2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Edinburgh Sunday International Concerts Series in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! Salzburg Whitsun Festival 7 – 10 June 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bolshoi Ballet 2018/19 UK Cinema Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018-2019 Geneva Grand Theâtre Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Hallé Season in Manchester __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 BBC NOW in Cardiff and Swansea __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Opera in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! LMTO Bring Camelot Back to the West End for the First Time in 30 Years on 6 October __________________________________
  • NEW! JACK BUCKLEY’S MEMORIES OF LINDSAY KEMP (1938-2018) __________________________________
  • NEW! THE GESUALDO SIX IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG __________________________________
  • NEW! The Roman River Music Festival Returns This September __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Appreciation Talks this Autumn from Helen Astrid __________________________________
  • NEW! TENOR NICHOLAS PHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTOPHER SALLON __________________________________
  • NEW! THE PIANIST GEORGE HARLIONO IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! A Major Work by Stanford to be Premiered – 99 Years Late! __________________________________
  • NEW! THE CONDUCTOR ALEXANDER SLADKOVSKY IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! THE TENOR RUSSELL THOMAS IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • NEW! RAFAL BLECHACZ IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! MARKUS POSCHNER IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month