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 from the Wokingham Times, March 2003

Musical Power with Handel
Eton School Hall

HANDEL's setting of Dryden's 'Ode on St. Cecilia's Day' describes, through musical effect, the power of music in the universe and its creation. The Sinfonia Britannica performed on period instruments and, under Aidan Oliver, they clearly brought out the images Handel had in mind - disorder and chaos' 'jarring atoms', the rousing triumph of battle, the sadness of unrequited love.

The soloists at the concert were Andrew Kennedy, who negotiated the moods of 'Sharp violins' with impressive skill, and Sarah Fox, whose voice soared in the 'But oh! What art can teach.' She was joined by Ruth Massey in Vivaldi's Gloria in D major. The choir's response to the music was polished and wholehearted. Their attack in 'Zadok the priest' was thrilling. We heard the rich tones of the men's singing in 'Let justice and judgement...'

The concert ended on a hearty note with Handel's 'The King Shall rejoice. Next concert? A programme of madrigals in original and contemporary settings - followed by an Elizabethan Feast on June 14 at St. Paul's. Should be good fun!

 Rosemary Bayliss