Review: Messiah - St John’s, Harleston

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Reassurance and praise were the keynotes of this concert conducted by Christopher Bracewell.

Well-known choruses like And the Glory of the Lord and For Unto Us A Child is Born came across like warm, benign breezes.

The soloists were top drawer. Vernon Kirk had a particularly agile tenor voice. Dhilan Guanadurai combined an unassuming style with a molasses-rich voice.

Contralto Daniela Thomas, with Vogue looks, elegance and a winning smile, won the audience with Behold a Virgin Shall Conceive.

Soprano Lynda Russell also showed an ardent, urgent vitality in singing of angels and shepherds.

The orchestra, led by Miles Golding, played with great assurance and achieved a placid profundity in the Pastoral.

The Hallelujah Chorus had an exhilaration and sense of occasion that must have made it as memorable for the choir as the audience.

Handel’s great oratorio gave as much pleasure as ever since its Dublin charity premiere in 1742.

BASIL ABBOTT