Our recent concert (Sat 25th November) was a great success - the audience (and we in the choir) really enjoyed the varied repertoire (Mozart 'Mass in C Minor', Haydn's 'Te Deum' and his 'Insanae et Vanae Curae') complemented by the four soloists' arias and the orchestra's playing of Mozart's popular 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik'. Unfortunately, our reviewer, James Munro, had to miss the concert due to an accident from which he is now fully recovered, thankfully.
Now for Handel's Alexander's Feast - a first for all of us! Take a look at our Facebook page (link below) for some photos of us all in rehearsal.
On 24th March 2018 we will lead a Messiah from scratch in Ness Bank Church, Inverness. The soloists will be from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the conductor will be John Crombie, and at the organ will be our own Gordon Tocher. There will be a practice in the afternoon with the main event in the evening. We hope that many people - members of the choral and others - will come along and take part. Further details will follow.
Our Spring 2018 concert will take place on Sunday 22 April at Eden Court when we perform Handel's Alexander's Feast. Rehearsals will start on Monday 8 January 2018.
Our Autumn 2018 concert will take place on Saturday 17 November 2018 when we perform Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, together with other pieces.
Our Spring 2017 concert took place on Saturday 29 April at Eden Court when we performed Haydn's Mass in Time of War (Paukenmesse) and Bach's Magnificat in D.
We Choral members thought the soloists were glorious, the orchestra excellent, and noticed that the audience left with smiles on their faces - another triumph, though we say so ourselves!
And here's a review written for the Press & Journal by renowned classical musical promoter and reviewer, James Munro:
INVERNESS CHORAL SOCIETY, 29 APRIL 2017, EDEN COURT
HAYDN Paukenmesse and J S BACH Magnificat
April drawing to an end means that all the evenings of work by Inverness Choral Society since January bear fruit with their regular Spring Concert. Conductor Gordon Tocher coached the members in Joseph Haydn’s Paukenmesse (Mass in Time of War) after a gap of 34 years and J S Bach’s Magnificat in D, last sung by the Choral in 2005.
This Mass was one of six that Haydn composed in the mid 1790s and dedicated to Princess Maria of Esterhazy. The Paukenmesse, or Timpani Mass, was always known as the Mass in Time of War as, after the French Revolution, Napoleon’s troops were gathering on the Austrian border. here is a sense of military threat towards the end which was brought out well by the Choral and emphasised by the timpani of Isabel John and the trumpets of the Inverness Choral Sinfonia.
The first of the guest soloists to join the Choral was Scottish soprano Catriona Clark whose voice soared out in the opening Kyrie as she pleaded to the Lord for mercy. She was joined by mezzo Marion Ramsay to complete the first section. The second part, Gloria, was a little choral symphony on its own - a burst of joy especially from the gentlemen of the Choral and with baritone Andrew McTaggart taking over for the beautiful Qui tollis peccata mundi with a solo cello accompaniment from Richmond Lusher.
After a vibrant opening to the Credo by the Choral, tenor Tyler Clarke joined the other three soloists for an adagio Et incarnatus est before the whole company delivered a confirming Et resurrexit. The Sanctus was opened gently by mezzo Marion Ramsay before the whole Choral joined in with a slightly ominous and powerful Pleni sunt coeli.
The sense of war was more apparent in the Benedictus with the four soloists singing in short staccato phrases, before the Choral brought the Mass to its finale with an Agnus Dei which is usually a request for mercy and peace, but with the rolling timpani and fanfare of trumpets was more a request for victory.
J S Bach’s Magnificat in D major is one of his best loved works and was much revised by the composer. The text is taken from the Latin version of St Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 1, Verses 46 to 55. It is the Song of the Virgin Mary and has been central to the Christian Church for all its existence.
For the Inverness Choral Society’s performance there had to be several changes to the scoring of the music to suit the facilities of the Inverness Choral Sinfonia. Perhaps one day there will be an ensemble of period instruments to accompany works such as this.
Nevertheless nothing appeared to be lacking in the accompaniment of oboe and bassoon or two flutes which replaced instruments that are seldom heard today such as the traverso or the violone or the oboe d’amore.
Gordon Tocher kept a tight rein on the Choral so that their singing was clear and precise; Sheila Bruce’s organ kept the continuo under control and with the second soprano Colleen Nicoll joining the other four soloists this was a performance of a beautifully crafted masterpiece that had the respectably sized audience leaving the Empire Theatre buzzing with appreciation.
Now Inverness can look forward to the Mozart C minor Mass in November.