REVIEW: Portsmouth Choral Union at St Mary’s Church, Fratton

David Gostick leads the Portsmouth Choral Union at a previous concert
David Gostick leads the Portsmouth Choral Union at a previous concert
Charmed Life Festival in 2017

Charmed Life Festival returns to Portsmouth

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It is testament to the professionalism of both Portsmouth Choral Union and conductor David Gostick, pictured below, that, only three weeks after their last major performance, they were able to present a wide-ranging and well prepared Christmas Concert.

In addition to the expected Christmas music, PCU were able to showcase two movements from their world premiere recording of Wesley’s Confitebor Tibi, now available from the choir website.

These, along with a selection of unaccompanied carols, were sung with vitality and clarity of vocal line.

In the congregational carols they were accompanied by Hampshire County Youth Orchestra.

The orchestra, under the clear direction of conductor Carl Clausen, gave confident, convincing performances of Smetana’s Vltava, Prokofiev’s Montagues and Capulets and the Evening Prayer from Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel – in which the clear-voiced soloists were Isobel Pott and Anna van den Bos.

The concert concluded with choir and orchestra joining together in a rousing performance of Chilcott’s ingenious and witty arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

This concert was enthusiastically received by a near capacity audience.

PCU’s next performances will be Jenkins: The Armed Man, at Basingstoke in March 2018, and in Portsmouth, Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony, in June 2018.