02
April
5:30 pm — 6:30 pm
St Mary’s Church
Fratton Road

Portsmouth, PO1 5PA United Kingdom
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Join us to hear this rarely performed, beautiful re-telling of the Seven Last Words of Christ, which form a sort of shorthand interpretation of the crucifixion from the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John, arranged into presumed chronological order, and performed by Portsmouth Choral Union. If you would like to hear Portsmouth Choral Union perform, then please book tickets in advance on their website.

The Seven Last Words of Christ at St Mary’s Church on 2 April 2022 – A Review

Performances of Haydn’s Seven Last Words with orchestral accompaniment are rare, so that given by Portsmouth Choral Union and accompanied by Southern Pro Musica on Saturday was especially welcome. It was fitting that before the Haydn, the choir – accompanied by strings – sang ‘A Prayer for Ukraine’. Throughout the concert, the conductor’s rostrum was decorated with the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag.

With the choir’s wide dynamic range, excellent blend and sense of ensemble the dramatic texts of the Haydn were brought vividly to life. Conductor David Gostick’s well-judged pacing of the individual movements ensured that the performance never became over sentimental and his direction was a model of discreet clarity.

Although Haydn does not offer his vocal soloists any extended arias, the interplay between solo voices and chorus is important to the success of this work,
and the choir were fortunate to be joined by four singers willing to work as a small ensemble with in the larger whole – and they were Faye Eldret (soprano), Lorna Price (mezzo), Paul Bentley-Angell (tenor) and Jack Comerford (bass). Their positioning behind the orchestra, though in front of the choir, highlighted the intimacy of this performance.

With much of the music being of a gentle and slow character, the vigorous ‘Earthquake’ movement (including Nik Knight’s appropriately thundering timpani) brought the work to a dramatic conclusion.

David Holmes

Details

Date:
April 2nd
Time:
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Website:
http://www.pcuchoir.org
Organizer:
Portsmouth Choral Union
Phone:
023 9282 2227
Email:
pcuticketing@gmail.com

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