November 2007: Laudate


Exeter Cathedral, 8 November 2007

A Concert of contemporary choral classics in Exeter Cathedral Thursday 8 November with Exeter Festival Chorus and Cabot Brass Ensemble

Exeter Express and Echo

Source: Margaret Smith

"The Cabot Brass is a zingy, spirited and distinctive group of professional young musicians who captured their audience right from the start.

Along with Exeter Festival Chorus, conducted by Nigel Perrin, they took their part in a truly sparkling performance of contemporary classics. Some of the passages between the accompanying organ and harp were fabulous, the artists being Andrew Millington, director of music at the Cathedral, and Kate Watt, already a harpist of distinction.

John Rutter's resplendent Gloria used the brass to huge effect against the tonal harmony of the Chorus, and Arvo Part's Beatitudes beautifully demonstrated that composer's spirituality of feeling.

Richard Rowntree was the soloist in Janacek's setting of the Lord's Prayer, which demands almost impossibly lofty notes from the tenor range and is highly individual in its harmony.

Living Tree is a work commissioned by Exeter Festival Chorus for this concert from Peter Nickol, a composer and one of their own members, and this sensitive setting of some well chosen texts made it a moving and magical item. I hope we hear it again.

Leonard Bernstein's well-known Chichester Psalms completed the programme. The percussion was brilliantly played by Jeremy Little and the boy treble was Alan Bennett, a chorister with our own Cathedral Choir. His voice was perfect for the part, unforced, true, and wonderfully persuasive."

Review in Woodbury Music Society Newsletter for November 2007

Source: Deryck Laming

"The Exeter Festival Chorus together with the Cabot Brass Ensemble from Bristol, harpist Kate Watt and a distinguished array of soloists performed some lesser known choral pieces, including a first performance of a work Living Tree by choir member Peter Nickol - which even set a piece of Encyclopaedia Britannica on tree creepers as well as cataloguing the 300 different families that live in our trees. The concert began with a stunning performance of John Rutter's Gloria where the brass almost overpowered the choir and the organ. Then we had Arvo Pärt's ethereal Beatitudes and Janáček's Otčenáš (Lord's Prayer), finishing with Bernstein's magnificent Chichester Psalms. The last was sung in Hebrew, the Janáček in Czech, and the Rutter in Latin - so the choir had more than just singing to contend with! Of course, they did it magnificently and conductor Nigel Perrin was obviously glowing with pride at the end."