This review appeared in the Darlington and Stockton Times on
30 December 2016. It is reproduced here with permission.
Copyright © Newsquest (North East) Ltd, 2016
North Yorkshire Chorus, St Gergory's Church, Bedale
Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music made a fine opening to the concert.
The choir was in great voice and did full justice to this sublime music.
Arianna a Naxos was magnificently sung by Charlotte Tetley (mezzo-soprano), who has a voice of great beauty and considerable power with a gift for expression. She explained the plight of Arianna, driven to despair on being deserted by the man she loves. Nothing can comfort her.
The soloist expressed this grief so convincingly, enriching the music with such passion, it was an unforgettable experience, finishing on a great crescendo of emotion.
Bernstein is one of the most interesting composers of the 20th century. An innovator par excellence, his Chichester Psalms is always performed in Hebrew. It was interesting to see how the choir would cope with this unusual demand. They coped magnificently.
The work opens with a "joyful noise", clashing cymbals tolerating no inattention. The piece is full of drama including the instrumental sequences, unusual and commanding -- great music and a real feather in the cap of the North Yorkshire Chorus who gave a marvellous performance.
John Rutter's arrangement of Feel the Spirit, a cycle of seven spirituals arranged for choir, chamber ensemble and mezzo-soprano solo, provided another opportunity to enjoy the voice of Charlotte Tetley in Steal Away with an unusual choral backing and Sometime I feel like a Motherless Child.
A superb arrangement of I Gotta Robe was a triumph, and we all joined in the final chorus of When the Saints Go Marching In, to rapturous applause.