Reviews

Review: Messiah, Usher Hall, Jan 2017 - 4 stars

AMONG the more recent delights, for the seasoned attender, of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union’s annual New Year Messiah, is the delayed reaction of the Hogmanay tourists in the top tier of seats, unaware of the tradition of standing for the Hallelujah chorus, and not having invested in a programme,...Read More »

129th Annual New Year Messiah - 4* review - The Herald

This review — by Arts Editor, Keith Bruce — was originally published on The Herald’s Website on Sat, 2 Jan 2016. Four Stars Now a firm fixture of Edinburgh’s contemporary Hogmanay programme as well as the capital’s long-established New Year celebrations, the 129th performance of Handel’s oratorio by the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union may...Read More »

The Herald – Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and ERCU at The Usher Hall – 5 Stars – 2015

This review — by by classical music writer, Michael Tumelty — was originally published on The Herald’s Website on Monday, 11 May 2015. Five Stars WHAT a phenomenal concert the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra brought to Edinburgh on Sunday to close the Usher Hall’s International Classical Season. And I’ll tell you something younger...Read More »

The Herald - Handel's Messiah at The Usher Hall - 4 Stars - 2015

This review — by Arts Editor, Keith Bruce — was originally published in The Herald in January 2015. ...Read More »

The Herald - Handel's Messiah at The Usher Hall - 4 Stars - 2012

This review — by Arts Editor, Keith Bruce — was originally published on The Herald’s Website on Tuesday, 3 January 2012. Following current cinema fashion, this was a gloriously 3D Messiah. From John Kitchen’s presence on the Usher Hall’s restored organ through the ranks of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, where a...Read More »

The Scotsman - Handel's Messiah at The Usher Hall - 4 Stars - 2012

This review — by Kelly Apter — was originally published on The Scotsman’s Website on Wednesday, 4 January 2012. THE Edinburgh Royal Choral Union’s New Year rendition of Handel’s Messiah isn’t so much a concert as a happening. Orchestras with international reputations can fail to sell out the Usher Hall, but...Read More »

Edinburgh Evening News - Hadyn/Beethoven at The Usher Hall - 4 Stars - 2011

This review was originally published on Edinburgh Evening News’s Website on Monday, 6 June 2011. This concert certainly offered value for money. The main work – a Haydn Mass – is not long enough as a complete evening’s fare. The Choral Union and musical director Michael Bawtree are to be complimented...Read More »

Edinburgh Guide - Stainers's The Crucifixion at St Cuthbert's - 4 Stars - 2011

This review — by Barnaby Miln — was originally published on Edinburgh Guide’s Website on Monday, 11 April 2011. Late afternoon on Passion Sunday in St Cuthbert’s with its frieze behind the altar depicting the Last Supper was well chosen. There are some wonderfully familiar lines in The Crucifixion. “Fling wide the...Read More »

The Herald - Handel's Messiah at The Usher Hall - 4 Stars - 2011

This review — by Arts Editor, Keith Bruce — was originally published on The Herald’s Website on Tuesday, 4 January 2011. As befits a former King’s Singer and choral specialist, broadcaster Brian Kay has two distinct registers on the podium. His baton-free conducting style has a waist-height level of rhythmic guidance for the...Read More »

Edinburgh Guide - Durufle/Bingham at St Cuthbert's - 4 Stars - 2010

This review — by Barnaby Miln — was originally published on Edinburgh Guide’s Website on Sunday, 21 November 2010. In front of St Cuthbert’s altar there were nine tiers of red seats for the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union with the ladies at the back and men in front, and in front...Read More »

The Scotsman - Durufle/Bingham at St Cuthbert's - 4 Stars - 2010

This review was originally published on The Scotsman’s Website on Sunday, 21 November 2010. THIS Maurice Durufle and Judith Bingham double bill provided another opportunity to hear Bingham’s stunning Shadow Aspect, premiered by the ERCU last year. Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson, this work for choir, baritone, organ and timpani beautifully...Read More »

The Scotsman - Handel's Messiah at The Usher Hall - 4 Stars - 2010

This review was originally published on The Scotsman’s Website on Sunday, 3 January 2010. LIKE the Turner watercolours, Handel’s Messiah is a deeply woven part of the fabric of Edinburgh’s New Year celebrations. For a staggering 123 years, Edinburgh Royal Choral Union (ERCU) has been striding into January with its performance...Read More »

The Herald - Handel's Messiah at The Usher Hall - 4 Stars - 2010

This review — by Arts Editor, Keith Bruce — was originally published on The Herald’s Website on Sunday, 3 January 2010. In one sense, it was like they’d never been away. The restoration of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union’s annual Messiah to the Usher Hall is confirmation that the capital’s majestic concert...Read More »

The Herald - Handel's Messiah at St Cuthbert's - 4 Stars - 2009

This review — by Arts Editor, Keith Bruce — was originally published on The Herald’s Website on Monday, 5 January 2009. When – renovation work schedule permitting – the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union is able to return to the Usher Hall for its annual New Year Messiah at the beginning of 2010,...Read More »

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...Read More »

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...Read More »

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...Read More »