Aberdeen Bach Choir at St Machar’s Cathedral March 27 2011

Press & Journal Review by Roddy Phillips

Many concerts and events were cancelled by last December’s heavy snow. Fortunately Aberdeen Bach Choir’s concert of Magnificats by Praetorius, Pergolesi, Bach and Rutter at St Machar’s Cathedral was rescheduled and took place last night with one very special addition - the world renowned soprano Dame Emma Kirkby.

Her Royal honour aside, at 61 Kirkby is the grande dame of early and baroque music and her appearance as soloist with the Bach Choir was obviously too extraordinary an event to miss as St Machar’s was packed.

To date Kirkby has made well over 100 recordings and yet like many of the singers in the Bach Choir she is untrained. Last night that distinctively pure and plaintive voice added a stunning bonus quality to the truly magnificent sound produced by the Bach Choir and the Aberdeen Sinfonietta, both of whom were on top form.

Musical Director Peter Parfitt kept a tight rein on the proceedings, getting the maximum from the Choir while ensuring that Kirkby and the other distinguished soloists - the counter tenor Giles Pilgrim Morris, the tenor
Malcolm Bennett and the bass Roderick Bryce - could be enjoyed to the full.

After listening to recordings of Kirkby for almost 40 years this was a memorable opportunity to hear this definitive soprano perform with the home team.

Published in The Press and Journal on Monday 28 March 2011
and reproduced by kind permission of Roddy Phillips