“Something exceptional happened in Southwell Minster on Saturday night. And it wasn’t just that the entire capacity audience rose as one at the end to give the performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah the longest and most unanimous standing ovation I have experienced in 25 years of concert reviewing.
“It was rather the suspicion that history was being made. For those present it seemed as if there could never have been a performance quite like this one: one that was so intensely dramatic in its story-telling and control of musical energy that it grabbed the audience by the throat at the outset and held them in its spell for nearly three hours.”
That was how William Ruff opened his review in the Nottingham Post of the Festival performance on 29th August 2015. To end our series of highlights from last year’s festival we return to that performance for the third time.
This extract, including Andrew Foster-Williams as Elijah supported by the Festival Voices and Festival Sinfonia, comes from the end of Part One of Mendelssohn’s great oratorio: it highlights the contribution of what Mr Ruff described as “a choir of 30 razor-sharp singers, who combined precision with narrative urgency and the volume of a choir five times as big; and an orchestra of wide and deep talent, powerfully expressive both as ensemble and as individual soloists.”
To read the complete review in the Nottingham Post please go here.
The 2016 Festival takes place from 25-29 August. The programme will be launched at a special concert on Friday 18th March at 7.30pm in Southwell Minster.