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12-13th December 2014, Waterfront Hall, Belfast

Ulster Orchestra and Belfast Philharmonic Choir perform together for what could be the last time


“…From the opening notes of the ‘Grave’ we know immediately that we are in for a Messiah with a difference, as Layton sets a brisk tempo and accentuates the double dotted rhythm to its full extent.  While this might not be the sombre mood to which many of us are accustomed, it is matched in sprightliness by the second part of the Overture in which the strings excel in clarity and brightness...”


“Throughout the Philharmonic Choir is superb, their rhythmic attack, precision of diction and varying dynamics showing exactly what a large choir can bring to Handel’s rousingly expansive choruses.  They excel in crisp marcato and staccato phrases, as in the first chorus ‘And the Glory of the Lord’, and the later ‘For Unto Us a Child is Born’.  This contrasts with the exquisite and gentle diminuendo of their singing at the end of the Chorus: ‘All We Like Sheep’.  How refreshing to hear Handel sung with such variety of tone colour and dynamics…”

Nuala McAllister Hart


Read the full review online                            © Culture Northern Ireland 

First published 16/12/2014







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