Concert by Craven Camerata

Sunday 28 April 2002 St. Aidan's Church, Hellifield

 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

The two central works in the programme were Rachmaninov's Vespers and Bruckner's Te Deum. Of the two it was the former which made the greater impact, possibly in part, because of its less frequent appearance in the amateur choral repertoire, but more probably stemming from the intensity of emotion generated by a piece charged with the sumptuous, sensuous sound associated with the Russian Orthodox Church. It was certainly a challenge for the choir but the response of Sheila Hayward's singers was warm and full-hearted. The Bruckner was a very different experience which might have benefited from the large orchestra with full brass section which the composer intended. Nevertheless, we were given a sharp sense of the triumphant structure by choir and soloists. The fugue towards the end of the piece was immense and uplifting.

Of the other items in a varied programme, particularly noteworthy were the two pieces for flute and piano composed by Paul Fisher and his anthem for choir, flute and piano, evoking Yorkshire and its hills. Sarah Glossop played the flute beautifully in all three.

This concert in St. Aidan's Church, Hellifield was the final Camerata appearance of Sheila Hayward, the conductor. For many years she has made an outstanding contribution to the local music scene. Never one to duck a challenge, she has introduced us to works of all kinds, many not frequently performed in amateur groups. She has expanded the listening repertoire of those who listen and for those who performed with her, she has been an inspiration. It would be sad, were she to leave local music altogether, however deserved her retirement. We shall, in any event, look forward to seeing her in the future at the many musical events which are offered in North Craven. We are in her debt and wish her well.

Brian Birkby.

Sheila Hayward conducting