Musical Visitors – Review and Pictures

Saturday 21 April 2018Performed beneath the great red-brick Gothic arches of St John’s church by Trianon Music Group, the concert started with three motets by Charles Villiers Stanford sung a capella by the Trianon choir. These delicate meditative compositions with their echoing vocal lines set the mood for contemplation, and gave little hint of the tide of emotion aroused by the pieces to come, both of which were unfamiliar to me.

The orchestra, conducted by musical director Chris Green first excelled themselves in the Dvorak 8th symphony. From the opening soulful melody of the cellos through to the raucous whirlwind of timpani and winds I was plunged in the world of Bohemia. From all sections came a sense of exhilaration which was highly contagious and by the time the fanfare heralded the raging tides of the fourth movement, I felt a child’s excitement at the sheer power of the sound waves they were unleashing.

Then in the second part it was another journey into the delightful quintessence of peace that soprano Julia Roberts offered in the Kyrie of Gounod’s Messe Solemnelle de Sainte Cécile. Her voice, floating effortlessly high above the choir, seemed like the very ‘shining ray’ streaming from the Mass of which Saint-Saëns spoke. A quiet magical start which gave way to the build-up of grandiose dramatic chorus drawing on the fused energy of soloists, choir, orchestra and organ. With their vibrant voices still resounding inmy ear, I went home happier and more alive than I had been when I arrived.

Charles Nightingale

Photo: Trianon musicians in action – Photo and copyright; Geoff Rogers

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Saturday 21 April 2018 at 7.30pm, St John the Baptist Church, Ipswich

Conducted by Emeritus Professor Chris Green OBE

Soloists: Julie Roberts (soprano)

Paul Bloomfield (tenor)

Tim Gillott (baritone)

Sponsored by The Friends of Trianon Music Group

The Irish-born composer, conductor and teacher Charles Villiers Stanford became Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge and during his tenure was host to many celebrated musicians including Dvorak. Dvorak stayed with Stanford in Cambridge where his Symphony No 8 was premiered. Gounod, like Stanford and Dvorak, also sought domicile in a foreign country- in this case England, but before that he had written one of his most popular religious works dedicated to the Patron Saint of Music.


C.V. Stanford Three Motets
  Justorum animae
  Beati quorum via
  Coelos ascendit hodie
Anton Dvorak Symphony No 8 in G
Charles Gounod Messe solennelle de Saint Cécile (St Cecilia Mass)