from the Reading Chronicle, June 2007
An enthusiastic audience filled All Saints Church, Wokingham to capacity last Saturday, 2 June, for the Summer Concert of Wokingham Choral Society.
Last summer, as a new departure, the Society had given a themed concert combining readings from Bunyan's 'The Pilgrims Progress' with music suited to the readings. This year's performance in a similar vein was an anniversary prom celebrating the birth, life and music of England's best loved composer Edward Elgar, born on 2 June 1857.
Their widely accomplished Musical Director, Aidan Oliver, introduced each piece of music with perceptive insight, fascinating facts and amusing anecdotes. In a programme containing many favourite works, the choir, as usual in excellent voice, also performed the lesser known but attractive and varied group of songs 'From the Bavarian Highlands', settings of poems written by Elgar's wife, Alice.
The Society's outstanding accompanist, Christopher Cromar, played the both the organ, including a rousing rendition of 'Nimrod', and the piano, accompanying both the choir and the violinist David Brodowski who played three well loved pieces including 'Salut d'Amour' with moving sensitivity.
The concert drew to a close in splendid 'prom' style including Parry's 'Jerusalem' arranged by Elgar and 'Land of Hope and Glory' complete with flag waving.
Sadly this was Aidan Oliver's last concert with the Society, but there are whispers that the new Musical Director, Alex Chaplin, intends to continue the successful format next summer. This is good to hear as these concerts are memorable and justifiably popular.