Review: The Bach Choir Royal Festival Hall 29/06/2017

James MacMillan’s Blow the Trumpet in the New Moon premiered in 2017. It is set on a Psalms text, in the style of a fanfare overture for voices. Intended to be performed by an extremely large choir, the work blends menace and celebration, anger and joy.

Elgar's Cello Concerto premiered in 1919. This was a difficult time for Elgar as his music had gone somewhat out of fashion. Regardless, he continued to compose his cello concerto. Despite a disastrous premiere, the work eventually became a favourite of the cello repertoire, and was the last major work that Elgar wrote. Soloist Raphael Wallfisch put on admirable performance, dealing effortlessly with the virtuosic demands.

Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony is a work that was ahead of its time. Following its premiere in 1910 it helped launch a new movement of British symphonic and choral music. Despite Vaughan Williams' young age at the time of composition, it is a highly mature work and revolutionary in its use of choir as part of the orchestral timbre. Here the Philharmonia Orchestra excelled, with David Hill bringing out an assured interpretation of this complex work.

Philharmonia Orchestra - Orchestra, David Hill - Conductor, Raphael Wallfisch - Cello, Sally Matthews - Soprano, Roderick Williams - Baritone, The Bach Choir - Choir
James MacMillan - Blow the trumpet in the new moon, Elgar - Cello Concerto, Vaughan Williams - Symphony No.1 (A Sea Symphony)
Royal Festival Hall
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