4* review in The Herald
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This year’s performance contained many more musical bonuses as well, however, beginning with one of the finest editions of the scratch “Edinburgh Pro Musica Orchestra”: the oboes were Cath Earnshaw and Rosie Staniforth, by way of illustration. The musicians, conducted by chorusmaster Michael Bawtree and with John Kitchen at the organ, shone much new light on the work ¬– in Handel’s varied approaches to continuo, for example.
Although a little ragged on either side of the interval on the tricky His yoke is easy and the opening of Behold the lamb, the chorus, augmented by two dozen guests from the Orkney Winter Choir directed by Glenys Hughes, were also on fine, poised, and measured form, all the way to the sopranos’ peal of bells on the closing Amen.
4* review – The Herald
Click here to see the original review in the Herald.
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 be chiefly remembered for the debut of German baritone and BBC New Generation Artist Benjamin Appl, a real talent of power, confidence and exemplary diction who delivered his first aria, The people that walked in darkness, in Schubertian style and continued to treat the score’s most operative moments as Lieder.