On May 5, Horncastle and District Choral Society presented a remarkable concert in the warm late sunlight of St. Mary’s Church.
The main item was an excellent performance of Faure’s Requiem.
Right from the very start, we were aware of the positive qualities of the choir that conductor Caroline Boden has built up over a relatively short period of time: discipline in performance, clarity in diction, rhythmic certainty and outstanding capacity to deliver a wide range of dynamic level.
People are beginning to speak of a special “Horncastle Sound”!
The performance generated a broad range of colour, intensity of emotion and mood, a sense of drama, and special moments of sunlight and gloom appropriate to the words.
Gail Hinkins, singing confidently and at her very best, gave a beatific performance of the well-known Pie Jesu, pitching the high notes with polished ease.
It was also a delight to hear the compelling performance of Bob Edwards, making a brief return to Horncastle. His irresistible interaction with the audience dramatically highlighted the conflict between the two extremes of threatening danger and longed-for peace that Faure’s music offers.
In complete contrast, for the second half of the concert, Caroline, with her usual flair for creating an effective balance of diverging elements, had devised a programme ranging from the atmospheric and touching, to the infectiously funny - something very difficult to achieve in musical terms.
Bob built on his excellent performance, Isabel Wilson offered an elegantly-judged performance of Bushes and Briars, while Judith Reynolds ably navigated her first solo performance for HDCS.
As always, Chris Hinkins played a vital role in both the preparation and the performance of the music.