Choral Society 2023 was as eagerly anticipated as always, but perhaps with that little bit extra excitement as the choice of repertoire this year was Verdi’s Requiem. Widley regarded as one of the greatest choral works of all time, the work is a choral and orchestral setting of the Catholic Mass for the Dead with text drawn from the Latin Requiem Mass. It is a work of huge drama and colour, combining sacred and operatic styles and in so doing, creating a work of both religious devotion and theatrical power.
Conductor Adam Meehan-Staines certainly coaxed the required musical impact from the massed choir, orchestra and soloists – the opening of the Dies Irae was absolutely sensational – and there was an impressive and necessary lyricism throughout. Soloists Anush Hovhannisyan, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, Alexander Robin Baker and Julian Close complimented each other quite beautifully, employing clever and entirely appropriate portamenti to good effect.
A special mention should also be made concerning the notable performance of the orchestra which contained no fewer than 11 current or past Marlburians, alongside 15 members of the College’s music teaching staff. Their performance was impressive indeed and a testament to the depth of the musical talent amongst our community at the College, both past and present.
Overall this was a performance of immense flair and passion with Choral Society and Chapel Choir in full flow and clearly relishing the moment to the full.
Congratulations then to all involved in this hugely enjoyable concert, with particular praise to Adam Meehan-Staines for his leadership and skill in maintaining such high standards in Marlborough College Choral Society which celebrates 90 years of existence this year.