Programme strikes right note

Royal Dunedin Male Choir
End of Year Concert
St Paul’s Cathedral
Monday, December 4

The Royal Dunedin Male Choir’s final concert for the year was held in St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday evening.

John Buchanan is the musical director for this choir.

In recent years a smaller membership has enabled him to refine the choral blend and present more difficult arrangements with encouraging results.

Accompanists were Linda Folland and David Burchell.

A large audience enjoyed the variety programme which began with Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Rolling Down to Rio — chosen from their archives — and a tight, well-balanced delivery of an arrangement by Hiroshi Masumoto of Pōkarekare Ana.

There was no informative profile for guest artist Marco Davis and his programme item was "TBA".

However, I can tell you he is the best solo bagpiper I have ever heard.

His stamina and flying fingers produced endless variations of unusual pipe repertoire so fast as to be almost making harmony — and that from a solo wind instrument!

The choir followed with Sure On This Shining Night, by Morten Lauridsen, and Alleluia Alleluia which climaxed appropriately for the final "Alleluia".

Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight? I felt was rather too placid and slow, then And Can It Be, by Dan Forrest, with lots of part-singing and entries, was also a little cautious, but the current choir has excellent intonation and a definite potential to grow in confidence and strength.

A highlight was Ralph Miller (trumpet) and Burchell (organ) with Trumpet Concerto in D Minor, by Albinoni.

It was a very professional performance which filled the cathedral with glorious music.

The mellow-toned adagio was particularly impressive.

The audience participated in two Christmas carols, and A Gaelic Blessing, by John Rutter, and I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, by contemporary United Kingdom musician Chris Artley ended the concert.

Review by Elizabeth Bouman