On 17th May I was privileged to see and hear the Bury Choral Society concert at Stand Church. Having heard the Fauré and Duruflé requiems only days before at Manchester Cathedral, I must admit that I would have preferred a different programme, as I was going to hear the choral singing, not to compare the two societies: but at the end of the evening I would not have wished to have been elsewhere.
The concert started with Three Church Sonatas by Mozart, performed by Bury Camerata with Jeffrey Makinson playing the organ. This was truly excellent with some delightful playing by all.
The Fauré is the more well-known of the two requiems, and especially Pie Jesu, and the orchestra and choir made a huge impression throughout because of the way they followed the Conductor’s leadership. The texture of the orchestra was first rate while the choir blended beautifully in tone with superb dynamics.
The Duruflé requiem, commissioned in 1947, has a different structure from the Fauré. It is a much more difficult piece yet is equally “listenable”. Again choir and orchestra played superbly with the dynamics of the piece again brought to life by the conducting of Juan Ortuño. He has received excellent teaching at his conservatoires, Madrid and Manchester RNCM, and it showed.
The soloists from RNCM, Michaela Parry and Aidan Edwards, showed promise that they will mature and offer something special to audiences.
I look forward to Bury Choral Society’s next event, which I am sure will be another wonderful concert.