The splendour of the church formed a perfect setting for Saturday evening’s performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass by Eye Bach Choir. Their numbers alone made this a performance on a grand scale, yet conductor Leslie Olive made it sound authentic, adopting tempi which, for the most part, had a spaciousness which admirably projected the work’s grandeur.
The quintet of soloists made a fine team, with well focused singing from sopranos Lindsay Gowers and Lisa Cassidy in Christe eleison, while tenor Simon Gfeller and Bass Mark Saberton’s contributions were more variable, but it was the contralto Laura Trayhern, whose radiant voice and intelligent singing were outstanding.
Period style was in evidence in the distinguished orchestral playing; notably the flutes in Dominus Deus, the solo oboe in Qui sedes, and the splendid horn obligatto in Quoniam.
The choir sustained an excellent standard throughout what is a long and taxing work; indeed they seemed to get even better as the evening progressed. Although the male voices were numerically weaker, the balance was good, helped perhaps by placing tenors on the left, basses on the right. Intonation was excellent.
A splendid evening which did justice to Bach’s wonderful score
Frank Cliffe, EDP24 edition on 18th March 2013