Choral Society’s Christmas concert

Angus Choral Society gave their Christmas concert to an almost capacity audience in St John’s Church, Forfar on Saturday.

The opening piece Vittoria’s ‘Magnum Mysterium’ was beautifully effective, followed by J.S. Bach’s cantata ‘O Jesu Christ’.

The ‘Quatre motets pour le temps de Noel’ by Poulenc gave the choir a major challenge. Again sung a cappella the harmonic accuracy was extremely well delivered.

The first half ended with the beauty of Morten Lauridsen’s ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ - the third ‘magnum’. This was. full of harmonic digression and diversity but here, again, the choir excelled, providing much tonal variety and masterfully executed phrasing.

The choir was afforded ‘breathers’ when Graeme Stevenson interspersed with three organ pieces: the chorale prelude ‘In Dulci Jubilo’ (Buxtehude) in gentle baroque style; Karl-Elert’s ‘Resonet in Laudibus’, a very atmospheric piece; Goettsche’s ‘Hoert, der Engel helle Lieder’ - a fun piece based upon ‘Angels from the realms of glory’ in a light-hearted ‘jazzy’ vein.

The second half of the programme was an assortment of choir and audience participation. Here again, the choir was able to demonstrate great talent. Intricate part-singing in ‘Infant Holy’ and ‘Ding Dong, merrily on high’, shared spotlight between ladies and gentlemen in ‘A Maiden most gentle’, strength in ‘Personent Hodie’ and an extremely moving ‘Coventry Carol’. Musical Director, Mary Veal should be acclaimed for her dedication to seeking perfection from the choir.