REVIEW: Burgate Singers Spring Concert

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Rarely performed works by Arthur Sullivan were on this programme at Eye Church conducted by Alain Judd.

The Overture Di Ballo precedes Sullivan’s days with Gilbert, while his Boer War Te Deum comes from his life’s end.

The tuneful, friendly Di Ballo, with its polonaise, waltz and galop sections, and a classical sheen gave a firecracker start by the Burgate Sinfonia. No tedium in the Te Deum but rip-roaring praise, with its stirring inclusion of Onward Christian Soldiers.

A dozen years later the hymn was parodied in the trenches as Forward Joe Soap’s Army.

Requiem for An Unknown Soldier, by John Carol Case, was another gem. From WWII, it began spare and stark, built to a life-affirming climax and peace at the last.

The Mefistofeles Prologue by Arrigo Boito, with nods to Goethe and Wagner, made hell’s foundations quiver. A charming, rogue devil, bass James Gower, pitting his vocal powers against the heavenly host, was high drama.

BASIL ABBOTT