Sunday, 6 December 2009


2/12/09, Cadogan Hall

English Chamber Orchestra, Howard Williams and "Choir of the 21st Century" which someone said was born, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of the Tallis Choir and which numbers my old friend A's university friend DL among its basses. We met him in the bar beforehand where he'd just met a man he knew who turned out to know Dr T. Then during the interval I met a man I knew at university. Small world.

First-class tenor, Nicholas Mulroy. Under-powered mezzo, Mae Heydorn. A bass called Hakan Vramsmo I thought was also underpowered until The Trumpet Shall Sound which he did jolly well. A very showy soprano called Ida Falk Winland who shoved in loads of decoration (is this appropriate in one of Handel's more religious items?) and wore a backless almost-strapless dress (it had a strap over one shoulder but was cut right down to the panty line) only held up by her bony shoulders ("flat as a washboard," said D) and what Kate calls tit-tape. She made a big impression on me, anyway, and could sing. Her biog shows she did Cleopatra in a Swedish Giulio Cesare; I'd like to see her as Semele.

It started indifferently. It got better as it went on. It dipped, as usual, in part two, but you really can't go wrong with part three and the end.

Vramsmo and Winland are both Swedish, Heydorn is Swedish-German. They looked amused/bemused when we all stood for the Hallelujah Chorus (I don't and didn't, a fact noted by DL).

We were in the balcony round to the side and may not have had the best of the acoustic: the band (22 players, plus two trumpets and timps) often seemed to drown the soloists.

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