TWO versions of the Gloria rang around St Paul’s Church in Royton as Oldham Choral Society put on their latest concert for a full audience.
The Vivaldi Gloria is one of the most joyful and popular works of the Italian Baroque, and Rutter’s Gloria is a lively contemporary work with lots of exciting Latin and jazz rhythms.
The choir were joined by two talented local singers, soprano Rachel Abbott and contralto Ailsa Mainwaring, who took part in the two Glorias and also sang a few pieces in keeping with the theme of the concert.
As we emerge from the pandemic, the theme of the Glorias reflected the choir’s joy of coming together to make music. Vivaldi’s work was first performed over 300 years ago and it is nearly 50 years since John Rutter was inspired to write his.
The choir set about the Vivaldi with obvious enthusiasm and the first movement which is called the Gloria brought a truly ‘glorious’ sound. The ‘Laudamus te’ and ‘Domine Deus’ were beautifully sung by the two soloists.
Towards the end, the choir raised the intensity with Quoniam tu solus Sanctus and the soloists rejoined the choir in the rousing finale of ‘Cum Sancto Spiritu’.
This was followed by the Contralto in ‘Vergnugte Ruh’ (Contented peace, delight of the soul) by J.S. Bach, and the Soprano in Handel’s Rejoice greatly from ‘The Messiah’.
Two members of the choir’s Bass section recently passed away and the following duet allowed the choir and audience to remember these, and others, while listening to a beautiful rendition of a short selection from ‘The Messiah’.
John Smith was the organist and his accompaniment to the soloists was applauded by them. The organ played a particularly important part in the drama of the Gloria by John Rutter.
It was a demanding choice with its tango and jazz rhythms, but the choir performed it with vigour in the first movement and a touching gentleness in the Andante, and executed the jubilant final movement ending with a fugue Cum Sancto Spiritu and a fast Amen.
Oldham Choral Society has been fortunate to have Nigel Wilkinson as its Musical Director and Conductor and he returns for his 23rd year.
Fred Jones, president and long serving member as chairman of the choir, said: “I am really proud of the way the choir members have come back in force to rehearsals, and worked so hard to put on the concert.”
The choir looks forward to its Family Christmas Concert with Ashton Band on Friday, December 17 at 7.30pm at Oldham Parish Church, Rock Street, Oldham OL1 3UH.