Concert November 2015
- Handel’s Messiah
- Malcolm Archer – harpsichord
- Zoe Brookshaw – Soprano
- Tim Mead – Counter Tenor
- Joshua Ellicott – Tenor
- William Gaunt – Bass
- Winchester Music Club Choir
- Winchester College Glee Club and Quiristers
- Winchester Music Club Orchestra
Concert Review by Duncan Eves
What better way to begin Advent than with Handel’s ‘Messiah’!
The combined forces of the Winchester Music Club choir and orchestra with the College Quiristers and Glee Club were celebrating not only the Dublin première of ‘Messiah’ in 1742 but also their first concert under their new Musical Director, David Thomas. He drew a performance of distinction from his musicians, with lively tempi, crisp rhythms and a choral response that was nimble in the fleet running passages and suitably weighty in the grand paeans in which Handel excels.
Soloists Zoë Brookshaw (soprano), Tim Mead (counter tenor), Joshua Ellicott (tenor) and William Gaunt (bass) were all on top form in their respective arias. It was particularly pleasing to hear some of the alternative versions of arias: the joyful bounce of Rejoice greatly was enhanced by the clarity of the soprano (lovely tonal quality) and the duet version of How beautiful are the feet had a superb blend from the soprano and the counter tenor.
There were several moments of solo singing from all four soloists that were quite glorious. He was despised is one of those arias where everyone has their favourite version/singer and Tim Mead brought just the right amount of gravitas and pathos – simply fabulous! The orchestra (playing on modern instruments) captured the period feel of Handel’s style extremely well and mention must be made of the solo trumpet in The trumpet shall sound, who filled the cathedral with his brilliant tone.
All in all, a huge success for David Thomas’ first outing with the Music Club