Portsmouth Choral Union at St Mary’s Church, Portsea

Eager vinyl fans celebrating Record Store Day at Pie & Vinyl in Castle Road, Southsea     Picture: Duncan Shepherd ((180341-006)

Record Store Day is a smash hit with the eager crowds

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Portsmouth Choral Union performed Bach’s stunning Magnificat and Schofield’s vibrant Te Deum in an imaginative programme to a large audience in St Mary’s, Portsea on Saturday.

PCU, working under the baton of their new conductor David Gostick, have lost none of their discipline. They continue their association with their magnificent orchestra, Southern Pro Musica, whose warm string tone and sure-footed players continue to mark them out as an orchestra of distinction.

Ian Schofield is a local composer whose energetic works should be more widely performed. PCU commissioned the Te Deum in 2000 and this performance succeeded in bringing out its bright, dancing rhythms and imaginative use of instrumental colour. The spellbound audience was treated to three trumpeters, placed in different areas of the church, giving a wonderful spatial dimension to this dramatic music.

The four young soloists, all from the Royal Academy, demonstrated the excellence of our national system for music education. The soprano, Rhiannon Llewellyn, was particularly expressive, not least because she was able to bring a sense of delight in her music-making to the audience.