Waverley Singers performed monumentally in Aldershot church
The Waverley Singers returned to St Andrew’s Garrison Church in Aldershot for a long-awaited performance of JS Bach’s monumental Mass in B minor.
The choir was conducted by its musical director Richard Pearce and performed with the Brandenburg Baroque Soloists and young professional solo singers supported by the Josephine Baker Trust.
The choir had started to rehearse this challenging music months ago and its work was rewarded with a performance which was full of life, with energetic and well-judged tempi.
In particular, the Cum Sancto Spiritu at the end of the first half was performed at a challengingly fast tempo, a challenge ably met by the singers and orchestra – which put you on the edge of your seat. As one audience member said in the interval, they were on fire!
The choir was supported by lively playing from the baroque orchestra, with lovely singing by the soloists and wonderful instrumental solo playing during the arias.
A particularly noteworthy performance among these arias was of the Domine Deus for soprano and tenor, with some beautiful singing and obligato flute playing.
Another highlight was the choral basses solo in Et Resurrexit and the choir took in its stride the demands of the double choir in the Sanctus.
The singers kept their energy to finish as strongly as they started with an impressive final chorus rounding off a lovely evening.
It was a performance to remember and a welcome return of live music-making after Covid.
The retiring collection raised a wonderful £650.45 for the Aldershot-based charity Karuna Action.
This sum will be used to support the charity’s work in the local community, where it also runs the excellent Karuna Coffee House located right in the centre of Aldershot.
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