Entente Cordiale – Review

Héloïse West , soprano
Jonathan Watts, organ and piano

St Matthias’ Church, Wellswood

Neither the beautiful weather nor the prospect of the England v. America world cup football match proved sufficient temptation for the 100-or-so strong audience from attending Torbay Singers’ summer soirée of English and French songs and instrumental music.  Whilst car horns tooted their support for their team outside St Matthias, sweet music was being drawn from the voices of the choir and soprano soloist Héloïse West, giving succour to the audience within.

A confident start with a bold performance of “O Sing Joyfully” by Adrian Batten, sung from memory, established a standard that was met by the choral numbers that followed.  Héloïse’s clear, focussed voice delivered some gems: songs by Liza Lehman, composing around the turn of the 20th century and some classics of the French repertoire were sung in a manner gorgeously suited to their humour and piquancy respectively.

Jonathan played the first movement of Elgar’s Organ Sonata in G Op 25 and the Toccata from the Suite Gothique by Boellmann on the recently refurbished organ.

After this excitement, the concert drew to a peaceful conclusion with the Domine Deus from Poulenc’s setting of the Gloria.  Here the choir ably supported the soaring soprano solo line, allowing the happy audience to go home content with having enjoyed a evening of fine music-making!

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