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from the Wokingham Times, March 2010

The second part of the concert was a very powerful performance Tippett's A Child of our Time
Reading University Great Hall

This concert, given by Wokingham Choral Society, began with a grand performance of Parry's I Was Glad. The singing conveyed all the joy and pomp of this majestic piece.

The second part of the concert was a very powerful performance of Tippett's A Child of our Time. The piece was composed during the Second World War when the Nazi persecution of the Jews was at its height; it was topical for those times. This evening's sensitive performance showed how timeless this meditation on injustice and genocide is.

The whole piece had been very well rehearsed and polished: there was anger in "Is Evil Then Good...", turbulence in "Burn Down their Houses...", a sorrowful sigh in "When Shall the Usurers...".

The singing of Deep River was very moving.

The baritone, Simon Thorpe, blended well with the choir in Go Down Moses, while Now in Each Nation was dramatic.

In keeping with the serious nature, Joseph Spooner and the orchestra gave a sensitive performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto in E Minor. Composed in 1918, this piece was also influenced by war and it's mood is sombre.

Even the lighter moments are tinged with sorrow and in the final bars Spooner brought out Elgar's feelings of anger and helplessness. It was an impressive, gripping performance.

  Rosemary Bayliss