Published: 20 October, 2011
by SARAH DAWES
THE Royal Free Music Society held a concert to mark the coming retirement of the Revend Peter Barker as vicar of St Mark’s, Regent’s Park, where the Society has performed for more than 10 years.
The Hampstead Sinfonia, conducted by Andrew Rochford, played Mozart’s little-known overture to his Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario) followed by Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony in which the cellos excelled in their delivery of the recurring theme.
After the interval, the orchestral ensemble was joined by the Royal Free Choir and four brilliant soloists in Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor under the baton of Benjamin Woolf.
The first movement was thrilling, the Kyrie’s liturgical style contrasting with the operatic entry of the first soprano soloist, Charlotte Shipley.
She’s not only an accomplished singer, much in demand, she’s a lawyer called to the Bar five years ago.
Leah Jackson, the second soprano soloist, is an established performer in a wide variety of roles and the duet between the two sopranos was dazzling in its virtuosity and intensity.
The two sopranos were joined by tenor soloist Marc Finer for a fine rendering of the trio Quoniam Tu Solus; he’s a corporate debt adviser who spends most of his spare time singing.
Later, when bass soloist Anthony Ordman joined the other soloists, the effect has quite magical. Anthony is the consultant in pain management at the Royal Free.
The choir itself did justice to the fanfare opening of the Gloria and enjoyed the rich fugues of the Cum Sancto Spiritu and Osanna despite the challenges they present to an amateur choir.