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Handel’s oratorio heralds the spring concert season

09 March, 2018 — By Sebastian Taylor

‘The Crossing of the Red Sea’ by Nicolas Poussin, 1634

Spring concerts of choral societies and community orchestras are coming thick and fast in the approach to early Easter.

This Saturday (March 10), the Highgate Choral Society is strutting its stuff at All Hallows, Gospel Oak. Being performed is Handel’s great oratorio Israel in Egypt based on passages in the Old Testament books of Exodus and Psalms. Frogs, pestilence, flies, lice, locusts, hailstones, fire, darkness and the parting of the Red Sea all feature in this extraordinarily dramatic oratorio, composed by Handel in one month.

Singing with the choir are some super young soloists, including Scottish soprano Davidona Pittock, mezzo Rosanna Cooper and bass Wesley Biggs. Conductor is Ronald Corp.

Also performing this Saturday is the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra at St Mary-at-Hill, Eastcheap, in the City. The programme of its concert includes Beethoven’s first symph­ony and Mozart’s 41st symphony, the Jupiter.

Highgate Choral Society, All Hallows, Gospel Oak, NW3, 7pm, from £10,
Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra, St Mary-at-Hill, Eastcheap, EC3, 7.30pm,

Other spring concerts include:

Saturday, March 17

• North Camden Chorus performing the Fauré Requiem, Janáček’s Our Father and other pieces at St Mary Brookfield, Dartmouth Park.

 Hampstead Chamber Choir singing pieces by Parisian masters such as Messiaen, Louis Verne, Poulenc and Vidor at Hampstead Parish Church.

• Camden Chamber Choir singing Purcell masterpieces at St Mary-the Virgin, Primrose Hill. It’s a wonderful programme with such pieces as Rejoice in the Lord Alway, Hear My Prayer along with wonderful extracts from Come Ye Sons of Art and Dido and Aeneas including Dido’s famous Lament.

Sunday, March 18

• Islington Choral Society is performing the Brahms Requiem at St John’s Smith Square.

Saturday, March 24

• Camden Choir is performing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle at St Paul’s, the ‘Actors’ Church’, Covent Garden.

Sunday, March 25

• Fleet Singers are performing Handel’s Messiah at St Martin’s Church, Gospel Oak.

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