Handel’s Messiah – Halifax Minster

October 2010

This fund raising performance by Overgate Hospice Choir in memory of choir chairman Keith Scotford was a triumph, played and sung with passion and consummate musicality.

Conductor Simon Lindley authoritatively communicated the emotive message of this wondrous work and brought out immaculate playing from the National Festival Orchestra and splendid singing from the choir.

Every chorus was appropriately distinctive. Unto us a Child is Born, taken at a cracking pace, had genuine excitement, His Yoke is Easy bounced along blithely, He trusted in God was mirthlessly mocking, while Worthy is the Lamb and the final Amen filled the packed Minster witha profoundly moving wall of sound, Thomas Williams, counter-tenor, and soprano, Claire Strafford stood out for their purity of tone and expressive delivery.

Tenor, Paul Dutton, had emphasis and enthusiasm, while Quentin Brown, bass, was dramatic and tonally secure.

Handel’s exquisite accompaniments were played with great refinement, with outstanding contributions from orchestra leader Sally Robinson.

Julia Anderson
Halifax Courier
11th October 2010