REVIEW: Nelson Consort at Holy Spirit Church in Southsea

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From the opening antiphonal effects of Whitbourn’s Of one that is so fair to the closing Hymne a la Vierge by Villette, the Nelson Consort gave their audience, a rich tapestry of fine ensemble singing.

Their well-chosen programme was ideally suited to the generous acoustic of The Church of the Holy Spirit.

The gentle dissonances of the Whitbourn and the more challenging harmonies of McDowell’s O Oriens were well managed.

Particular mention should be made of Mealor’s Rose Cycle for it embodied all the fine qualities of this excellent group: an ability to sustain softly sung long phrases, climactic moments handled without loss of focus or problems of intonation and tight ensemble in detached rhythmic passages.

The soaring soprano line of A Spotless Rose was impressive, as was that at the start and end of Lloyd’s The Fairest Flower.

Joubert’s There is no Rose was preceded by nicely choreographed movement from the fellows of the tenor section and followed by Lucas’s evocative setting of Inviolata, integra.

With fine singing in all voice parts and clear unfussy direction from Oliver Hancock performances by the Nelson Consort should not be missed. Their next concert is at the Anglican Cathedral on December 19.