Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Singing to Themselves among the Poets

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Singing to Themselves among the Poets

Article excerpt

Byline: RICK JONES

THE annual German airline-sponsored festival of baroque music began indistinctly last night among the sleeping kings. Perhaps the BBC Radio 3 mikes picked up more than we in the Abbey heard, but mostly it was down to poor projection. Of the soloists, only soprano Carolyn Sampson unfailingly aimed her voice at the great west window and made every phrase of Handel's Dixit Dominus tell. The others seemed less sure of the work and buried their heads in their scores for security. Michael George sang a note long enough to nod off in and never looked up once. No one who had the difficult run of thirds in the first movement allowed us to hear whether they had achieved it.

Sophie Daneman, Susan Bickley and Jamie MacDougall sang to themselves and let the orchestra cover them.

The Westminster Abbey Choir under James O'Donnell are well acquainted with their home's acoustics and sang to suit. The two dozen boys took on Han-del's single-syllable runs with fresh, bright assurance. …

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