A sizeable and diverse audience gathered to hear Lichfield Cathedral Chorus and Camerata perform sacred classical music.

After a bit of confusion with the lighting and the usual announcements and prayer, the concert started with a drum roll rivalling the good Lord’s meteorological activities earlier in the day.

Like the sun breaking through after a storm, Antonin Dvořak’s eastern European-inspired melodies soon delighted our ears with his Te Deum, a rarely heard work full of contrasts from full chorus to quiet woodwind, not to mention the tympani. 

Familiarity returned as the Lichfield Camerata played Gabriel Fauré’s Pavane, under the baton of the cathedral’s director of music, Ben Lamb. 

The sounds of the Cantique de Jean Racine were also familiar, but not so much the name. Since the last time I heard them, Ben seems to have altered the layout of the chorus, with men down the middle and the ladies either side, making the soprano and alto parts much easier to distinguish – something which worked very well for the Cantique.

I guess Fauré’s Requiem was what most people came to hear and we weren’t disappointed.

Perhaps my only criticism is that I could hardly hear the organ, which isn’t something you would expect in a cathedral. It is an important part in the final movement and the absence slightly marred an otherwise moving performance.  

It was an uplifting evening for the soul which perhaps ended too soon, but I would be hard pressed to think of an encore that wouldn’t have spoiled the music going round in my head after the Requiem. 

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