Friday, 18 March 2016

half of st matthew passion

This evening Maisie and I went to see Bethan in her new choir doing Bach's St Matthew Passion at St John's Waterloo. As is not unusual, we didn't stay for the whole concert but left at the interval; it started at 7, because it's 2h30 (possibly without the interval, not sure), and we left what I presume was towards the end of the interval, about quarter to 9.

As well as Morley Chamber Choir were Morley College Choir and (in the gallery, for two of the sections) the Southend Boys and Girls Choir, along with the Morley Players (the small orchestra, who weren't individually named in the programme, which was a shame), and five soloists. I'm not aware of having heard any of the soloists before (they all seemed pretty young), but they were good. The orchestra was on the whole pretty young too, while the adult choirs on the whole were at the older end of the range; both orchestra and choir had a majority of women.

To our untrained ear, it sounded pretty good. Lientjie from church was there, as also was Pal (spelling unknown), someone I know from Sharp's folk club whose sister was, it turned out, one of the altos with Bethan. Bethan had been concerned about how little publicity there might have been, but there was a very healthy number of people in the church - even though they don't have the numbers of Barts, there are still plenty members to draw in family and friends. There's something to be said for these smaller choirs/orchestras, compared to the sometimes too-blunt instrument of a massive choir and attendant orchestra like Barts. I didn't realise Bethan's choir had so few tenors, however - only three in the programme (and on the night, indeed), one of those a woman. Ah, the joy of being a tenor, always in demand...