A Baroque Christmas with the Elgar Chorale

A Baroque Christmas in Candlelight - 15th December 2018

A Baroque Christmas – 15th December 2018

On a slightly cold and dank Saturday evening just before Christmas in the Church of the Ascension, Malvern, the Elgar Chorale, most ably conducted by Piers Maxim, sang a full programme of baroque pieces by a variety of composers – Scheidt, Schütz, Buxtehude, Gabrielli, and J S Bach of course.  They were securely accompanied by the organist, Allan Walker (who also interspersed the vocal pieces with organ solos), in conjunction with two recorder players, Jill Davies and Linda Hardwick, and a bass continuo player, Judith Dallosso, on her violoncello.  Our spirits were lifted by the mostly tight crisp counterpoint singing, excellent diction, good attacks and a whole range of dynamics which all added class to the performance of the pieces.  The vocal highlight for me was the Deutsches Magnificat by Schütz which ended the first half with its beautifully poignant, antiphonally sung word painted verses, whilst the purely instrumental performance of three movements from the Christmas Concerto Grosso in G minor by Corelli in the second half was delightfully atmospheric.  What a joy it was to have Christmas musical fayreso different from that we usually experience in churches during the festive season … and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without hot mulled wine and mince pies which were served in the interval to further enhance a most enjoyable evening.   Howard Robinson