The incomparable combination of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi featured in our concert on Saturday 30 November in Dorchester Abbey. All composed wihtin a 10-year span between 1713-1723, Bach's glorious Magnificat was the headline work. Handel's O praise the Lord with one consent is one of his Chandos anthems which give a foretaste of the riches to come in his later oratorios. Vivaldi's setting of Psalm 112 Beatus Vir RV598 demonstrates his typical pace and energy, as does his short Concerto for Strings RV157.
Summer concert 2019
Sat, 15 Jun 2019
We had a lively triple bill for our summer concert and the large audience were highly appreciative both of our 'normal' forces but, in particular, of the excellent children's choir conducted by Judith Ward.
You can read the review in the Henley Standardhere
Elgar's The Kingdom
Sat, 30 Mar 2019
Along with the Elgar Orchestra and our conductor Chris Walker, we have a strong affinity with Elgar's great oratorios. For this performance of The Kingdom we left our traditional venue of Dorchester Abbey and moved to the Oratory School in Woodcote.
The Henley Standard's John Burleigh concluded his review with "Elgar's The Kingdom is not as popular nor performed as frequently as his Dream of Gerontius, though some congnoscenti claim that the former is the greater work. Perhaps people haven't heard a really definitive performance. They should have come to hear Benson at The Oratory." You can read his full review here
A Plea for Peace
Sat, 1 Dec 2018
For our programme to commemorate the centenary of the ending of the First World War we chose Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, an amazing piece which is disturbing, compelling yet hopeful in equal parts. The more familiar Fauré Requiem completed the bill.
You can read John Burleigh's review from the Henley Standard here
Sat, 16 Jun 2018
Mozart’s amazing Mass in C minor was the centrepiece of our summer concert. To start the programme, our accompanist Anita D’Attellis, who is building her solo career to great acclaim, played Piano Concerto no 21 in C K467. The poetic eloquence of the slow movement was used in the film ‘Elvira Madigan’ .
You can read the review in the Henley Standard here
Brahms German Requiem
Sat, 24 Mar 2018
The review in the Henley Standard can be found here
A Reflection of Perfection
Sat, 25 Nov 2017
The review in the Henley Standard of our concert can be read here
Byways of Beethoven
Sat, 10 Jun 2017
For our summer concert, we delved into some of Beethoven’s lesser known choral works – his Mass in C, his Choral Fantasia which featured a piano solo for our accompanist, Anita D'Attellis, and a Hallelujah chorus – not from Handel’s Messiah, but from Beethoven’s oratorio ‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’.
You can read the review from the Henley Standard here
Bach St John Passion
Sat, 25 Mar 2017
The review in the Henley Standard can be read here