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Wokingham Choral Society

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from Wokingham Times, June 2003

Society gives Shakespeare a modern touch
St Paul's Church, Wokingham

THERE are madrigals and madrigals as Wokingham Choral Society made clear in this light-hearted programme which linked Elizabethan poetry to present day music. Their singing captured the mood of each song from the gaiety of Morley's Now is The Month Of Maying to the smooth legato of Gibbon's The Silver Swan and the controlled tenderness of Vaughan Williams' Wedding Chorus.

Falstaff and the fairies was brilliant, with the sound of spooky sopranos revelling in the woods; their attack on the intruding Falstaff was nimble and vicious. George Shearing has brought the Tudor words right into our times with his settings of Shakespeare's songs. Malcolm Crease, on the double bass, gave an astonishing improvised solo performance which began with a simple theme which be expanded into a series of complex ingenious variations,revealing how well the instrument can express joy as well as the underlying sadness of jazz music.

 Rosemary Bayliss