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Well-honed performance creates quite a stir
11:29am Friday 11th May 2012 in Entertainment
Far be it from the writer to suggest any alternative version, but could it be that God spent five days creating Yorkshire, honing it, perfecting it to the ultimate degree – and God saw that it was good. And on the sixth day, God created the rest of the world – and God saw that it was average? Just a hypothesis, you understand.
Not so average was the excellent performance of Creation by Ilkley and Otley choral societies, at St Margaret’s Church, Ilkley.
The concert opened with Eddie Elgar’s version of the National Anthem – didn’t really need it. Yes, conductor Alan Horsey kept faithfully to time (his beat is always so consistent) and organist Christopher Rathbone was right alongside Alan but sadly, others were content to let it drag. The National anthem is a dirge at the best of times; please don’t make it a double dirge by trying to wallow in it. Is this a portent? Is this an evening I should have dodged? Far from it.
Rarely have I heard Ilkley and Otley in such shape. There can be no doubt that Alan’s hard work has paid off and we were treated to a combined choir who knew what was expected of them and were only too proud to fulfil their remit. Well honed, they demonstrated most confident entries, better diction that I have heard from many a choir for some time, and – in the main – accurate intonation.
How often have we (mis)heard muddy words and wondered what on earth they were singing about? Not so on Saturday and how wonderful to bear witness to such clarity with obvious intent. As the choir resolved the best known chorus, The Heavens Are Telling, it was so tempting to shout ‘bravo’ but hey, we were in church and you don’t do that sort of thing, do you?
Soloists Kristina James (soprano), Chris Trenholme (tenor) and Philip Wilcox (bass) were all young and vigorous. They had a lot of work to do and the recitatives in part three were truly delightful. Of course, there cannot be a soloist in the land who does not enjoy, indeed, luxuriate in the trio, ‘In all the lands’ from The Heavens Are Telling.