It is always a good feeling to be at a concert of Bury Choral Society. The concert in May was no exception. It commenced by students of the Royal Northern College of Music performing Old Hungarian Dances from the 17th century, for wind quintet, by Ferenc Farkas. As you would expect from the students there was clarity of thought to the work, combined with excellent musicianship – a wonderful start to the evening.
This was followed by A Cycle Round Britain by Goff Richards, a suite in five movements for choir and piano. The work comprises familiar national songs and traditional tunes from all corners of the UK. The excellent playing of Jonathan Ellis and the delight of hearing the choir in such good form made it a very satisfactory finish to the first half.
After the interval came the demanding Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. This is a work of many facets of life and languages. The pieces are mostly bawdy, irreverent, and satirical. The soloists have no easy roles to perform. The music stretches them to the extremes of their ranges, and at times a little too much, but all worked adequately in their roles. The choir found it hard work to maintain their usual high quality, but left us feeling satisfied with an enjoyable evening.