Thames Philharmonic Choir, All Saints' Church, Kingston

Kingston Parish church was the venue for a delightful concert last Saturday, 27th February, given by Thames Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, under the direction of John Bate.

The evening consisted of music from the nineteenth century; Brahms’ ‘Song of Destiny’, Elgar’s ‘Serenade for Strings’ and the less well-known Mass in C minor of Schumann.

Throughout the first part of the Brahms, the choir grew in confidence and the emotions demanded by the tenor of the words emerged gradually. However the work did not seem to take wings somehow. The Serenade by Elgar was however quite a contrast in its sensitivity and expressive breadth. The phrasing was delicate and the dynamic levels well-judged and caught our breath at times. The richness and precision of tone drew us forward with a sense of purpose.

After the interval, the Schumann Mass was most interesting. Despite this work being relatively unfamiliar and new to many, this piece felt comfortable and animated. The Choir regained their usual energy and vitality: the ‘Quoniam’ being a real call to arms! Chloe Hinton was the solo mezzo-soprano for this work, and remember; we heard her here first – this singer has an utterly beautiful tone, and a fabulously clear voice that caught us up every time she appeared.

The Choir sang the ‘Credo’ with conviction, and the ‘Sanctus’ was lively and tight, with the final ‘Agnus Dei’ held well in a rich glue of choral texture.

The evening was a delight and a cheer on a wet February night. Thank you again Thames Philharmonic!

M N Woodroffe