Handel - Messiah - Ars Eloquentiae - Basingstoke Choral Society

At 7pm on Sunday the 15th of November I played first trumpet in a Messiah at ‘The Anvil’ in Basingstoke. The performance was given by the orchestra Ars Eloquentiae and the Basingstoke Choral Society and was directed by David Gibson.

Details from the Basingstoke Choral Society website (below) had outlined their aims for the work and I would like to congratulate them on achieving them - it was a very agile performance of the Messiah and David Gibson did an excellent job in leading both the choir and the orchestra.

“Our November performance of Messiah will be quite different from other performances of this much loved work. In particular we shall be working with the wonderful young baroque players of “Ars Eloquentiae” who many will remember made such a huge impact at Douai Abbey last year; playing with such energy and unrivalled enthusiasm. We will be joined by a fabulous line up of soloists, headed by the stunning soprano Robyn Allegra Parton, who sang so brilliantly in the Will Todd Mass in Blue. Diana Moore will also be returning with her wonderfully creamy alto voice along with Alexander James Edward as our Tenor. Ashley Riches will be singing the Bass arias for the first time with us, fresh from his recent successes at the Royal Opera House.

​“We will be concentrating on a light, nimble and vibrant interpretation of this glorious music and will include many of the choruses often cut, such as “Lift up your heads”. I believe it promises to be a great evening of high-class music making. I am sure there will be a large and enthralled audience and I look forward to seeing you all in November.”

It is fantastic that any ‘review’ that I could have written about the concert was already outlined in their expectations from months ago! They succeeded in reaching their aims and the soloists, orchestra, choir, venue and conductor were all excellent.

The Anvil is a decent venue and it had a pleasing acoustic. Everything looked and sounded very good in there and there were none of the usual lighting, temperature and sight-line problems that we so often experience in churches, particularly at this time of year! It was a thrill to play there and in such good circumstances. The Trumpet Shall Sound featured myself and the Bass soloist Ashley Riches and it was a real joy to play.

I was delighted to see several RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) alumni both in the orchestra and audience. This included a surprise meeting with my friend Jeremy, with whom I studied at the RNCM and we completed the QTS course simultaneously.