Review by Tony Swift of the Vivaldi Concert on 1st July 2017

Banbury Choral Society celebrated its 75th year on Saturday evening in Deddington Church in impressive style.  Without doubt one of the most uplifting concert performances in the history of the choir.  

The programme of Baroque music, proclaiming and affirming Faith, Art and Music, a powerful combination, perfectly matched and reflected the evening's historical achievements.  The three works in the programme were Come Ye Sons of Art by Purcell, Let Thy Hand be Strengthened by Handel and Gloria by Vivaldi.

The choir were beautifully accompanied by Oxford Sinfonia and together with the choir produced a wonderfully balanced sound which perfectly suited the Baroque style.  The choir were in excellent form, parts blending together, words clearly articulated and powerfully projecting the emotional content of the three works in the programme.

The three soloists, Mollie Smith - Soprano, Octavia Lewis - Contralto, and Rory Burns - Bass, equally adding to the high quality of music heard.  Their voices suiting the musical style and blending together with a gentle sweetness, delightful to listen to.

Special mention must be made of two young recorder players in the orchestra, rather bemused by the occasion, but none the less brilliant in their musical duet.

Above all, Julian Harris, at the helm, steered the whole performance with confident control of the entire concert.  He was able to bring out from all those taking part, something very special, that was, an evening of celebration and music that will remain in our memories for a long time.

Tony Swift, Chipping Warden