Summer 2011

Concert with feel-good factor

South Chiltern Choral Society shared their summer concert at Highdown School with the Tetra Guitar Quartet and both succeeded at off-setting the bleak July weather outside. It was a real “feel-good” concert with SCCS focused on the choir’s choice of favourite songs from musicals in the Thirties and Forties ably supported by the Trevor Defferd trio of bass, piano and percussion.

The songs were adapted into the choral format by Gwyn Arch from songs written for one or two voices. This is, by its very nature, a bold undertaking, risking as it does the loss of the directness and clarity of the originals, and it is a credit to Gwyn Arch’s arrangements and to SCCS who kept the sharpness and focus allowing the multilayers possible with a choir to come through in a smooth and relaxed performance. In many cases the rendering of the songs surpassed those of some years ago! I particularly enjoyed Night And Day and Begin The Beguine.

The guitar quartet’s selection, which alternated with sets of songs from the choir and extended to more than half the concert, included adaptations by Stephen Goss of works from Mahler to Bizet by way of Kurt Weil and Erik Satie. The format gave scope for the entrancing development and elaboration of each aspect of the music as it was taken up by other members of the quartet. The Satie and the Mahler were particularly evocative whereas the Carmen resonated with the guitarist’s delight in portraying familiar tunes. This approach is very intimate and was most appreciated by those lucky enough to be seated close to them. ??The concert ended on a high note with the choir, the quartet and the trio combining, led by Trevor Defferd with Gwyn Arch on the piano, in a fine rendering of Mack The Knife.

It was the sort of event that lifted the audience and I could easily have listened to the choir for a lot longer. PW

Back to past concerts.

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