A packed All Saints’ Parish Church was treated to a richly satisfying performance of the Mozart Requiem in D Minor.
Unfinished at Mozart’s death, there is a thriving scholarly industry given over to determining just how much of the Requiem can be attributed to Mozart and how much to the labours of Sussmayr (and some others working with Sussmayr). Be all of that as it may, such issues did not interfere with the enjoyment of a deeply appreciative audience of the Pocklington Singers choir and orchestra’s rendering of this splendid piece of music.
This is very much a choral piece. Despite being slightly depleted due to ill health the choir was in fine voice. Right from the opening bars to the very end they did full justice to the demands of the music, Mozart or Sussmayr. The singing was marked by great precision and togetherness. The choir was always spot on in responding to the conductor’s promptings. There was no untidiness or muddiness in coming in or ending a piece. The clarity of rendering the text of the music was admirable. This was an interpretation that captured the intensity and urgency of both the text and music and the choir deserve full credit for reflecting that urgency and intensity.
Pocklington Choir is blessed with soloists who invariably measure up to the demands made upon them. While the Requiem affords only limited opportunities for soloists where required they performed as we have come to expect them to perform. In particular the Recordare (a relative oasis of serenity in an otherwise rather alarming portrayal of the world) was beautifully delivered.
Mention must be made of the fine playing of the Orchestra led by John Cullen which complemented so well the singing of the choir. The balance between the two served its purpose very well.
As ever, Michael Cooper who is the leader of the Pocklington Singers is to be congratulated on bringing the choir to such a level of performance. The greatest threat to the future of the Pocklington Singers might be the dais from which he conducts and from which he threatens all the time to topple off to disastrous effect. A really excellent evening of music for which everyone present was very grateful.