Opera Scotland

Sea Symphony 1996Dundee Choral Union

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There is no doubt that this performance gained immeasurably from having the RSNO on the platform, with a glorious outpouring of rich tone. They very rarely play Vaughan Williams in their normal programming, which is surprising. They did return to the Sea Symphony a few years later (2009) as part of their normal winter season - though only in the central belt. The first half of this evening's activities was an even less common choral work of the same period - a cantata The Music Makers by Elgar. Best known, if at all, for its quotes from Enigma Variations, this is also enjoyable, even if O'Shaughnessy's words are somewhat corny compared with the Walt Whitman verse in the Sea Symphony.

Lisa Milne was clearly the star of this particular show. Still early in her career, it was the only occasion on which she sang in the Caird Hall and her lovely lyric soprano sounded marvellous, and had no difficulty projecting into the huge space. Brian Rayner Cook was coming to the end of a long career spent largely on the concert platform, and he had recorded this work some years before. As expected, he sang with a great sense of style, but the actual tone was now rather dry.

Performance DatesSea Symphony 1996

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Caird Hall | Dundee

10 Mar, 19.30

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