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Music easily worth a tenor

PUBLISHED: 16:14 10 February 2010 | UPDATED: 17:21 16 August 2010

AN AUDIENCE braved frost and icy weather to hear the Allegri Singers perform an unusual and varied concert of French choral music.

AN AUDIENCE braved frost and icy weather to hear the Allegri Singers perform an unusual and varied concert of French choral music.

Conductor Tom Bullard led the performance at St Francis of Assisi Church, West Wickham on January 30 tackling the music by Poulenc and the Fauré Requiem.

The ladies opened the concert by performing Poulenc's moving Litanies à la Vierge Noire de Rocamadour, singing with organ accompaniment, producing a well-balanced and pure tone. The men then sang Polenc's unaccompanied four short prayers of St Francis of Assisi.

Baritone soloist Luke Williams showed a more humorous side to Poulenc, by his lovely rendition of two short pieces from Banalités.

The first half ended with Poulenc's unaccompanied Mass in G, with its challenging harmonic progressions and unpredictable harmonies.

The choir captured the spirit of the piece, and splendidly brought out the contrast between the energy of the Gloria and the serenity of the Benedictus.

The high soprano solo in the Agnus Dei, was beautifully sung by choir member Sylvia Jones.

Soloists, baritone Luke Williams and the boy soprano Edouard Favre-Gilly, gave a very assured interpretation of the Pie Jesu.

The choir was joined in performance by young musicians from the Bromley Youth Music Trust and for an encore the choir performed Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine.

The next concert by the Allegri Singers will take place on March 27 at 7.45pm in the same venue.

The choir will celebrate Wesley's 200th anniversary including The Wilderness and Ascribe unto the Lord, together with Parry's Songs of Farewell and Finzi's Lo the Full, Final Sacrifice.

Tickets are £8.50 (concessions £6.50) in advance or £9 (£7 concessions) at the door, call Elisabeth Hopkin on 020 8857 0308 or go to www.allegrisingers.org.uk.

Caroline Cheesman

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