Goring Chamber Choir
Goring-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire
GORING CHAMBER CHOIR CONCERT: EAST MEETS WEST (April 2015)
The 100th anniversary of the disastrous landings at Gallipoli was remembered on April 25th by the Goring Chamber Choir under the baton of its conductor, Frances Brewitt-Taylor, in the lovely acoustics of Douai Abbey with a concert entitled East Meets West, a cleverly constructed programme that brought together religious music from both sides.
To represent the West, the concert opened with a requiem by the prominent Canadian composer, Eleanor Daley, in which the choir gave a competent performance of what is not an easy composition with some faultless solos from amongst its own members.
This was followed by a truly wonderful performance of Ave Maria by Ilia Gudushauri-Shiolashvilli (Ilia the Second, the Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia) which set the heart pounding and nerves tingling by its thoughtful rendition. Having lived and worked in the Orthodox world of Russia and Georgia, this piece was particularly special to me.
The second half of the concert was equally special with performances of Orthodox music by composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rakhmaninov, Grechaninov and others including the late English composer, John Tavener who converted to the Orthodox Church in 1977. Sung in Russian and unaccompanied, the fact that the choir maintained pitch and timing is a testament to the low key but excellent direction it received from its conductor. Perhaps slightly lacking in the sonorous depth achieved by Russian singers. Goring Chamber Choir provided an evening of beautiful music with excellent performances which has left a lasting impression. It should perhaps have been witnessed by more than the 150 or so people present and I can but recommend readers to seek out future performances of this choir. You will not be disappointed!