Review: Mixing their Music V: A boys’ voices concert in Ely Cathedral (Saturday, March 15)

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by Rosemary Westwell

Ely Cathedral was made for a concert like this.

Choristers from Ely, Chelmsford and St. Edmundsbury Cathedrals presented an event that showed their voices at their best. The clear, ringing tones of well-trained boys’ voices could be heard throughout the Cathedral, no need for microphones here.

They sang a programme of serious and light-hearted music, ranging from Benjamin Britten’s ‘Missa Brevis’ to Horovitz’s ‘Noah’s Flood’. There were some particularly well-known and well-liked pieces including Fauré’s ‘Pie Jesu’, and ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’ and César Frank’s ‘Panis Angelicus’.

Under the astute directorship of Paul Trepte, James Davy and James Thomas these choristers acquitted themselves splendidly. Particularly noticeable were the beauty, strength and purity of their voices and their sustained phrasing supported by impressive breath control.

Accompanists on organ and piano included Edmund Aldhouse, Laurence Lyndon-Jones and Daniel Soper. Ashley Harries on double bass and Will Sivier (percussion) enhanced the lively rendition of ‘Noah’s Flood’.

This was indeed a splendid and well-supported evening.

Notable events to attend in the future include the free organ recitals on Sundays at 5.15. Those performed in Ely Cathedral will feature Alexander Berry on 6th July, Paul Trepte on the 3rd August and Sarah MacDonald on the 31st August.