Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 29 January 2015

Inspirational concert filled with rich sounds

The Ulster Youth Choir & The Gabrieli Consort, St Peter's Cathedral

The choral items of the first half of this concert were interspersed with solo organ choral preludes from Bach’s Orgelbuchlein, played with total authority by William Whitehead. Flowing lines, effective registration, rhythmic propulsion when required and precise ornamentation — what else could one ask for?

The a cappella sound of the Ulster Youth Choir was impressive in the several motets of Mendelssohn’s Opus 79 set. Conductor Greg Beardsell expertly judged the acoustic, controlling the diction crisply and always allowing time for the choral nuances to disperse into the lofty brightness of the rafters above.

This placing of Bach and Mendelssohn together was most effective.

If the UYC almost coped with the challenges of Bach’s Lobet den Herrn after the interval, it was at last in combination with the Gabrieli, ending this inspirational concert and acceding to a touch of over-romanticism perhaps, when the richest sound came from these two choral groups.

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