REVIEW: Vocalis at St Peter’s Church, Harrogate

Charlotte Kitson
Charlotte Kitson

The audience at St Peter’s Church for a concert by chanber choir Vocalis were treated to an excellent evening.

The programme was principally modern American music sung by the Harrogate-based choir under the baton of its director Alex Kyle.

Accompanied by 
John Longstaff and joined by mezzo-soprano Charlotte Kitson and percussionist 
Taneli Clarke, the main works performed were the Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein – the centenary of whose birth is celebrated this year – sung in Hebrew.

Then came the lesser-known In the Beginning by Aaron Copland.

This is a setting of the Creation story in Genesis.

These are both challenging pieces and the choir rose admirably to the occasion with expressive and dynamic singing.

The singers always sounding confident and engaged with the subject matter and making the most of the gorgeous Romantic melodies in both pieces.

The Copland is also a tour de force for the soloist and Charlotte executed her demanding part with eloquence and precision.

She also charmingly sang songs by Samuel Barber and George Gershwin, a master for the Great American Song Book.

To round off the evening we heard three songs, arranged for chorus, from Bernstein’s superb score for West Side Story, which retains its magic however often you hear it.

Altogether it was a most rewarding concert.