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Hertfordshire Chorus Reviews


Britten Ballad of Heroes and Bliss Morning Heroes: Watford Colosseum

David Wilby – Chairman of the Arthur Bliss Society

The performance of Morning Heroes more than met our hopes and expectations. What a brilliant choir you are — so incisive, confident and expressive and all round plain musical and, with the BBC Concert Orchestra, I don’t expect to hear a better live performance anywhere. The hall has just about perfect acoustics and it is understandable that it is in demand as a recording venue

Taking a bow after Morning Heroes with BBC Concert Orchestra and Sam West

Recording published on Lyrita Records – Michael Hurd  Choral Music (Volume 2) & Complete Solo Songs

Andrew Achenbach – Gramophone Magazine

Mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons shines in The Phoenix and the Turtle, a 1974 treatment of Shakespeare’s metaphysical poem as durable as it is engaging. Completed that same year, This Day to Man bears the subtitle of ‘Six Hymns to the Nativity’ and sets texts by five relatively little-known poets from the 16th and 17th centuries: both No 4 (‘Fairest of morning lights appear’ from Thomas Pestel’s A Psalm for Christmas Day Morning) and No 5 (‘Sweet baby, sleep’ from George Wither’s Hallelujah, or Britain’s Sacred Remembrancer) distil a fireside glow that genuinely warms the cockles. Last, but not least, comes the festive A Choral Cantata, written in 1991 for the Southport Bach Society and (once again) full of heartfelt, readily assimilable inspiration. Needless to report, the indefatigable David Temple secures splendidly alert results from his Hertfordshire Chorus and London Orchestra da Camera.

Read the whole review here

 

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Recording published on Lyrita Records – Michael Hurd  Choral Music (Volume 2) & Complete Solo Songs

John Quinn – Senior Editor Music Web International

Michael Hurd choral Music Volume 2

Throughout their programme the Hertfordshire Chorus prove to be splendid advocates for Michael Hurd’s music. The singing gives great pleasure and they sound to be enjoying themselves. And why not, for this is most attractive music that sounds enjoyable and rewarding to sing. The choral writing is consistently effective and full of appealing melodies and harmonies. David Temple has clearly prepared his choir very thoroughly and he conducts the performances very well.

Read the whole review here

Read about the story of this recording here

 

 

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James McCarthy Codebreaker and Will Todd Ode to a Nightingale: St Albans Cathedral

John Manning Herts Advertiser

“In many ways, the concert reflected the huge contribution Hertfordshire Chorus has made to modern choral music.

The Chorus together with London Orchestra de Camera gave a completely captivating performance. A tremendous and memorable performance.”

HC-223

 

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James McCarthy Codebreaker: Barbican Hall

BBC Music Magazine Online

A deeply moving work that showcases the composer’s ability to craft sumptuous melodies and build powerful climaxes with a full chorus and orchestra…this was a powerful concert that will stay with me for quite some time.

Financial Times Online

It is heart-on-sleeve, sometimes unashamedly so, with a passion that is intoxicating.”

Benedict Cumberbatch

I gripped the side of my seat trying not to weep. And failed… Deeply moving to all those increasingly familiar with Turing’s story and profoundly beautiful, illuminating and touching to those who are to discover him through this piece. A humanising communion with the spirit of a beautiful man. This is a wonderful, personal tribute and unique perspective on an extraordinary man and his tragic story.

James McCarthy takes a bow at The Barbican with Hertfordshire Chorus david Temple and Ruth Jenkins-Robertson

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Elgar The Kingdom: St Albans Cathedral

John Manning Herts Advertiser

Chorus’ ‘first class’ performance of Elgar’s The Kingdom at St Albans Cathedral

The members demonstrated just what a well-drilled choir should be able to do.
It presented excellent diction and, under its musical director David Temple, presented fine colour and dynOverall Hertfordshire Chorus’s performance of The Kingdom was a great success.
Even though it was 90 minutes without a break, time flew and all those can be proud of their achievement.

 

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Holst Hymn to Jesus, Berlioz Te Deum, Tallis Spem in Alium: Royal Festival Hall

Helen Wright, MusicOMH

A truly inspirational evening…The whole programme was a delight… Hertfordshire Chorus suggested to me last year at the Barbican, in a spectacular performance of the Mass In Blue they commissioned from Will Todd, that they can hold their own against any choir in the land. This year at the Royal Festival Hall my view was confirmed. ”

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Tippett A Child of our Time: St Albans Cathedral

John Manning Herts Advertiser 

The performance in St Albans Cathedral, with the Chorus under its musical director David Temple and soloists soprano Ruth Jenkins-Róbertsson, mezzo Jessica Costelloe, tenor Paul Hopwood and bass Graeme Danby together with the Forest Philharmonic Orchestra, was completely absorbing.

The overall performance from the choir and the orchestra was as good as anyone could wish with fine intonation and great care with the often difficult music.

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Elgar The Kingdom: St Albans Cathedral

Martin Bird, The Elgar Society Journal

Put simply, it was the finest performance of The Kingdom that I have ever heard, or can ever hope to hear… this was the real Elgar, and a performance of The Kingdom of which everyone involved can be immensely proud.

In David Temple there was, for once, a conductor who actually took notice of the directions Elgar has given in his score, and the result was a revelation. I went armed with pencil and notepad, expecting to be dutifully critical, but these were discarded within a few minutes as the force of Elgar’s inspiration took hold.

 


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