Concert Reviews

Here is a selection of the feedback we received from our semi-staged St Matthew Passion in St Albans Abbey – Saturday 13 February 2016

  From Benjamin Goodson (Conductor) to the Choir

I’m not sure that I can really put into words what I want to say, but I will try.

Last night was something that I will remember for the rest of my days. When we started out on this project I knew we’d have a good time with it, but I really didn’t anticipate that we would end up with anything close to last night’s performance in its emotional depth. I feel strongly that we’ve all been changed by this experience. That is the power of this music.

I was so very proud, moved, thrilled by your singing. I simply don’t know that there is another choir that could have done it – your commitment, joy and determination are an inspiration.

Thank you and congratulations.

From Chris and Lynn Lemar (former Lea Singers)

 Many congratulations to all The Lea Singers on your splendid and very moving performance of this great work. It was very compelling and a fresh interpretation of a piece we have both come to know and love over many years’ of doing it with The Bach Choir.

You had a brilliant line up of professional soloists and those from the choir did a very good job too. We were most impressed by Helen Charlston who was in no way outshone by the other more experienced singers. Her arias in the second half were sung with great emotion. She should go far.

How you all managed to memorise so much staggered us and the choir produced a nicely rounded sound, well blended and impeccable tuning. The unaccompanied chorale was a highlight. Ben has clearly been a fantastic choral trainer for you. Looks like you all had fun with your stage roles too.

Christus certainly showed how it should be done. I imagine he was a good director.

We thought Ben did an excellent job on Saturday. From the back he looked relaxed and in complete control. He too should go far.

It was good you had a full house and clearly a huge amount of effort had gone into putting on this most ambitious project. Very brave and it paid off.

David Collins (former Lea Singer)

I thought I should write and let you know how much I enjoyed the thrilling performance last night.

This was a truly wonderful event, and I congratulate the Lea Singers and Ben on the hours of preparation and, above all, on the drama and power of the performance.  Well done to all!

Helen Charlston singing Erbarme Dich is still going through my head…

From Patricia and Malcolm Two

Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed the St Matthew Passion yesterday. The musicianship across the entire company was of the highest quality .The choir did so well with the challenge of acting, choreography, and singing passages from memory in addition to the normal challenges of a concert performance. We found the crowd scenes to be particularly powerful and affecting.

A big thank you from us to all involved.

I had sent a note about it to Cecil Elliston Ball (who sang with us briefly). He came and was knocked out by it – so many people were deeply moved.

From Geoff Croughton (Harpenden Music Foundation)

I just wanted to say what an incredible evening we experienced last night – the performance was outstanding in every respect. It was an incredible achievement to produce such a performance which was musically and emotionally of such a high standard. Thank you all so much – and thank you too for including us in your hospitality.

With all good wishes for your continued success.

Susan Vinther (Mum of Nina, one of our former interns)

I’m sorry that I didn’t see you in the Abbey to tell you how wonderful, moving and unforgettable the performance was last night. The whole conception was so powerful with the 2 organs and orchestras not to mention the singing from every single person on the stage. At the moment the Leas sang Wahrlich, dieser ist Gottes Sohn gewesen I think every single person in the Abbey was utterly focused on the story and moved in their own way whatever their personal beliefs.

I’m not doing a very good job of putting into words my appreciation (and that of the friends who came with me who were moved to tears and of Nina) but please pass it on nevertheless to everyone involved.

Selected Tweets from Richard Watson, Sub Dean of St Albans Abbey

sorry to go on – not often the stewards @StAlbansAbbey r buzzing about concert the night before!  @LeaSingers @benjamin_gdsn @bastianboytg

Thanks @LeaSingers for brilliant #stmatthewpassion @StAlbansAbbey. Almost yelled “Do it again!” But it’s thought bad form with sacred works

If you’re not @StAlbansAbbey this evening then you are missing what I suspect will turn out to be one of the best performances of the year.

For more concert reviews, see Previous Seasons.

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Haydn’s Creation

Saturday 24 June 7pm
St John’s Church, Harpenden

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