On hearing the very first notes of the Meridian Sinfonia baroque ensemble at our rehearsal on the afternoon of the concert on the 25th of November, a bit of my heart melted, and I thought to myself, “what a privilege”. To be singing utterly glorious music with such a stellar group of musicians and singers is very special indeed. And there’s nothing quite like baroque trumpets, which were played brilliantly – the sparkly sound, the joy – not to mention the woodwinds, strings… everyone.
This concert had some difficult sections for the choir (and for soloists and orchestra for sure), which ups the ante a little, but it’s also exciting to rise to the challenge. I thought our rendition of Handel’s Laudate pueri Dominum was perhaps the best we’d ever done! Sometimes in concerts that’s not the case … the joys and sorrows and unpredictable nature of live performance … but this time it was. While there were a few wobbles towards the end of Bach’s Cantata 191 Gloria in excelsis Deo we managed to finish strongly, and the first movement, the Gloria, went really well. The work is incredibly beautiful and lifts the spirit. And I’m still blown away at singing Bach’s gorgeous Magnificat. My first time singing all three pieces and I would gladly do it all over again.
Huge thanks to Murray Hipkin, and everyone at NLC, especially those who keep the organisation going. As someone not from London, and having rediscovered choral singing relatively recently, I am constantly in awe of the level of the musicians here, and can only say again that singing in a concert like this one is an absolute privilege.
Susan Kempster, NLC soprano