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September 15, 2005

National Youth Choir of Scotland

The Herald (Scotland):

If you were impressed by the National Youth Choir of Scotland's contribution to the BBC's Last Night of the Proms from Glasgow Green, the important news is that you heard not a scintilla of the capabilities of Christopher Bell's young charges.

The bad news is that you have also missed your opportunity, as this was the last concert by the current line-up. The NYCoS method being the highly efficient machine it has become, I doubt there is a better-drilled choir of this size in the country, so the Henry Wood arrangement of the Skye Boat Song, which they reprised here, was a piece of cake. Stuart Hope's tricky treatment of O Whistle And I'll Come Tae Ye was the meatiest of a trio of Scots songs, but these were just the tiramisu after the piatti principali. Bernstein, Faure, Rachmaninov and Kodaly's rarely heard Missa Brevis the "unfeasibly high" soprano part despatched with aplomb, and range to spare I'd guess, by the girls in this outfit were the published attractions, but it was a late addition to the programme that was the sensation.

Five Latin hymns from the Gloria Patri by Estonian composer Urmas Sisask (nope, me neither) were a building delight, the staccato Benedicamus followed by the wordless, oscillating Oremus, and then a sensational finale, Confitemini Domino, more recognisably in the Baltic choral tradition and featuring call and response between a small choir within the ranks and the rest of the singers.

Posted by acapnews at September 15, 2005 10:33 PM