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Review of Concert on

Saturday 26th March 2022

Christus Factus Est

Tritone Singers, director Richard Wilkins, gave their seasonal concert last Saturday, 26th March, at St John's Church, Newport.


The well-planned programme was entitled 'Christus Factus Est', the name of a Passiontide text which the choir sung in three different settings, the most notable being that by Monteverdi.


Before that, as an appetizer, we heard Brahms's 'How Lovely are thy Dwellings' from his German Requiem. Here, the conductor lead from the church's upright piano with good results though a separate piano accompanist, with direction from the front, would have helped confidence.


We then moved to English music, 'O Lord, the Maker of all Things' by William Mundy proving a fine example of Renaissance choral style.

Stainer's lovely 'God so Loved the World' was given an expressive and well coloured rendering and this was followed by two more modern pieces: Philip Godfrey's 'Day by Day', featuring the sopranos and altos, and Howard Goodall's well-known 'The Lord is my Shepherd,' with Siobhan Cosgrove as soloist.


After the interval, the choir warmed to the the Romantic style of Bruckner and then Stanford, in 'Locus Iste' and 'Justorum Animae' respectively.

French music followed, of which Durufle's setting of the Lord's Prayer came over sweetly in the native tongue. We then heard settings of prayers to the Virgin Mary where the texts lifted the composers' inspiration, in Grieg's magical 'Ave Maris Stella', and the enraptured 'Ave Maria' by Rachmaninov.

Between these two motets came a Magnificat by Polish composer Krzysztof Niegowski. This animated setting had great rhythmic interest which really kept the choir on their toes! The richly score 'Abendlied' by Rheinberger brought this challenging and interesting concert to a close.


The choir generally produced a well balanced and blended sound, crowned with a beautiful soprano line, and their conductor Richard Wilkins enhanced the evening with his enjoyable introductions and anecdotes.




Copyright Richard Benger 2022


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