Two versions of Glory, those of Poulenc and Puccini, were on offer at Eye Church. The concert began with Faure’s Pavane by the Kingfisher Orchestra, serpentine and stately but with a passionate undertow. Poulenc’s Gloria is 20th Century music with that feeling of trouble beneath the time-honoured religious sentiments. Under Leslie Olive’s direction the choir found these elements, including the occasional irreverence in the work.
The addition of an organ, played by Alexander Binns, added warmth, drama and reassurance to the blend. Soprano Lisa Cassidy’s singing was beautiful and troubled, her Amens like a cry in the night against the gentle surge of the choir.
Puccini’s Messe di Gloria had a serene tuneful opening, a tripping Gloria, and often the rolling momentum of popular opera choruses. Tenor Paul Smy had a voice that was like a rushing wind with arrows.
Both works came to prominence in the mid 20th century. Their different glories found ample expression in this touching concert.
Basil Abbott, Diss Museum