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REVIEWS
THE GUILSFIELD SINGERS
Guilsfield Singers concert at Welshpool Methodist Church, Saturday 19 May 2018 Abridged version of the concert review by Bethan Scotford published in the County Times, 8th June 2018 A full choir under their new Musical Director, Paul Wardell, with Philip Harratt as concert accompanist, gave a convincing and sensitive performance of a well conceived and ambitious programme entitled “A celebration of British music”.  The programme contained works ranging from the popular “The Lord is my shepherd” by Howard Goodall to the less well known but demanding “Magnificat” by John Rutter.  Items in the first half ranged from the hymn-anthem set for choir and organ “The King of love my shepherd is” by Edward Bairstow to the serene and seemingly simple setting of verses from the Bible “The call of wisdom” by Will Todd,  a work that developed from a quiet opening into a joyous climax for full choir only to fade gently into silence.  The delicious vocal and piano syncopation of “Rejoice in the Lord alway” by Andrew Carter was much enjoyed by all, as were the pieces by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins “Ave Maria (from Stabat Mater) and “In Paradisum” (from Requiem). Two soloists contributed items by British composers.  Sarah Garrett sang “The waltz song” from Edward German’s “Tom Jones”;  a scintillating piece of light coloratura writing, beautifully suited to her clear, soprano voice.  Christopher Booth-Jones delighted the audience with Handel’s “Where e’re you walk” (from Semele) with its da capo embellishments, followed by Michael Head’s “Limehouse Reach” from the cycle of Six Sea Songs.  Both soloists then sang Purcell’s lively duet “Sound the trumpet”. Rutter’s “Magnificat”, a work of around 40 minutes, was the sole item in the second half of the concert.  Joyous and attractive, it contains music reminiscent of the Latino countries of Central America, energetic and with rhythmic complexity.  Sarah sang the solo sections, the hauntingly beautiful “Et misericordia” and “Essurientes”. The choir is to be congratulated on its performance of this work. .