27th April 2019


Cirencester Parish Church 27th April 2019


Saturday evening’s concert in Cirencester’s Parish Church was another classic from our own Cirencester Choral Society. Ably supported by the Corelli Orchestra, the choir offered a programme from the late 18th century, featuring Mozart, Salieri, JC Bach, and the Paukenmesse by Haydn.

Music from this period incorporates clean, crisp lines and simpler textures. The notes are generally more straightforward when compared to both earlier and later music, but more attention is required from the performers to add the refinements that make a stylish performance. It is not enough just to sing the notes of Mozart or Haydn, onehas to “perform” it. Having enjoyed a number of CCS concerts over the years, I suspected that they would get to the heart of the matter, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Carleton Etherington is a first class musician, and choir trainer; CCS is enormously fortunate in their Conductor. This music requires control, and he kept it tight: it also requires refinement, and there was plenty, with the choir drilled in important points of delicate phrasing and accentuation, all contributing to the atmosphere. As an example, a particular delight, which I hope the choir enjoyed delivering so well, was the diminuendo and crescendo at the end of the Salieri, but the sense of foreboding in the Agnus Dei from the Haydn (featuring the ‘Pauke’) also deserves mention.

The Benedictus in the Paukenmesse provided a wonderful opportunity for the soloists. The ensemble and balance of the quartet, all currently studying at the Royal Academy, was excellent. Having youth on side, the freshness and precision of their performance complemented the classical style.

CCS concerts are community events, with a packed house supporting the choir making the most of our wonderful church, but also raising money for the Churn. Book your tickets now for the Faure Requiem in November – they will go quickly!


Charles Woodd
27th April 2019