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Orchestra: Florilegium at St David's Hall

John Yip Brandies colour

One of Britain’s most outstanding period instrument ensembles, Florilegium, along with the Florilegium choir, brought splendour, finesse and prowess to St David’s Hall on Thursday 13 March.

The whole performance was conducted by David Hill, while Florilegium Director, Ashley Solomon, impressed with his flutter-tonguing in his solo during the orchestra’s second number, Flute Concerto in G by Christoph Willibald Gluck.

The night featured three suites of music. As well as Gluck’s flute concerto the orchestra and choir performed Te Deum by Marc-Antonie Charpentier and finished with Mass in C minor by Wolfgang Admadeus Mozart. All were beautifully executed.

The first set of pieces by Charpentier introduced all the players and singers. The orchestra began the piece and the Florilegium Choir swiftly joined in.

The Florilegium Choir’s voices added another dimension to what any audience is usually used to seeing and hearing with a standard orchestra performance. This combination of instruments and voices was then enhanced by the sudden appearances of solo voices, which included sopranos, Elin Manahan Thomas and Helen-Jane Howells, bass-singer, Robert Davies and tenor, Nick Pritchard.

The choir and solo singers left the stage for the second set of pieces and Ashley Solomon wowed with his flute solo, although it did seem at times he should make the stand he was reading the music from a little higher.

For the third set of pieces the choir was brought back and the solo singers took front of stage, having been hidden at the back of the stage, behind the orchestra, during the Charpentier pieces.

The most impressive performer of the night was Elin Manahan Thomas. Thomas has a well-established and controlled voice and her high-pitch range, which almost made her sound like opera-like, was extremely impressive.

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