Author: Edinburgh Royal Choral Union

The Scotsman – Concert at St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth – 4 Stars – 2008

This review was originally published as a Live Review on The Scotman’s Website on Monday, 12 May 2008. WITH the Usher Hall out of action, the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union (ERCU) is taking the opportunity to get out and about in Scotland. Saturday saw its sizeable ranks swelling the generous acoustics of Perth’s St Ninian’s Cathedral, with a programme that was more potpourri than ERCU audiences are possibly used to. This was a mix of the rare and not so rare: on the one hand the stirringly familiar sounds of Handel’s Zadok the Priest, the innocuous jazzy rhythms of John Rutter’s...

The Scotsman – Bach’s St John Passion at St Cuthbert’s – 2008

This review was originally published as a Live Review on The Scotman’s Website on Sunday, 16 March 2008. BACH’S St John Passion may not be as lengthy or grand as his St Matthew Passion but it is nevertheless packed with glorious chorales, recitatives and arias that tell the story of the Christ’s crucifixion from John’s point of view. Narrated by the evangelist, sung by the silky-voiced tenor Simon Wall, this intense and more intimate version of events unfolds dramatically through the distinctive voices of the characters involved. Celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, the ERCU sung with great verve and...

The Herald – Handel’s Messiah at St Cuthbert’s – 5 Stars – 2008

This review — by Arts Editor, Keith Bruce — was originally published on The Herald’s Website on Friday, 4 January 2008. It may have been a case of “needs must” because of the closure of the Usher Hall, but, as organist John Kitchen explained in an informative programme note, there is a long tradition of Handel’s great oratorio being performed with organ rather than orchestral accompaniment. For Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, the economy of the option may also have helped offset the loss of the larger venue, despite this being the second extra evening performance of the traditional New Year...