Skip to content ↓

St Benedict’s at St John’s Smith Square

St Benedict’s musicians gave a stunning concert at St John’s Smith Square, one of London’s most beautiful concert venues, on Sunday March 31st at 7.30pm.

 

St Benedict's Mozart Concert at St John's Smith Square
The St Benedict's Choir performs Mozart's Requiem

The choir and orchestra performed an all-Mozart programme, with Sixth Form student Valentina Elner-Kupcha as soloist in the Clarinet Concerto.

St Benedict's Mozart Concert at St John's Smith Square
Valentina plays Mozart's Clarinet Concerto

The concert began with the St Benedict’s orchestra's tremendous performance of the ‘Haffner’ symphony, in which they conveyed all the the grandeur and fugal complexity of the first movement – played with fire, as Mozart had directed; the second movement’s melodic grace and delicate interplay between the woodwind and strings; the ceremonial Menuetto and Trio, and the dizzying exhilaration of the Presto finale.

St Benedict's Mozart Concert at St John's Smith Square
The St Benedict's Orchestra performs Mozart's 'Haffner' symphony

Mozart wrote his Clarinet Concerto in celebration of the virtuoso clarinettist, Anton Stadler, and to fully exploit the instrument’s diversity of sound qualities: a tall order, then, for any performer.

Valentina’s performance enchanted the audience from beginning to end; not only was it an astonishing display of virtuosic skill, as she negotiated the music’s rapid, intricate passages and gymnastic leaps in pitch, she also brought out the clarinet’s exquisite singing quality and rich tone.

St Benedict's Mozart Concert at St John's Smith Square

From the gracious lyricism of the first movement, and the sublime beauty of the adagio second movement, to the joyful, quixotic finale, Valentina captured the concerto’s distinctive personality and Mozart’s sheer delight in the instrument. What’s more, she – and the accompanying ensemble – clearly enjoyed every minute of it.

St Benedict's Mozart Concert at St John's Smith Square

Then came the Concert Choir’s powerful performance of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor. Sixty singers from Year 7 to the Sixth Form rose to the technical challenge of this complex and enigmatic choral work, with its darkly imposing Introitus, the tender and poignant Lacrimosa (the last music Mozart ever wrote), and the dramatic intensity of Rex Tremendae. The professional soloists - Alison Rayner, Rebecca Stockland, Mark Chaundy and Leandros Taliotis – gave exquisite performances.

St Benedict's Mozart Concert at St John's Smith Square
Alison Rayner, Rebecca Stockland, Mark Chaundy and Leandros Taliotis

This was a truly excellent concert which demonstrated the wealth of musical talent at St Benedict’s, thriving under the inspirational leadership of Mr Christopher Eastwood. It was surely an unforgettable experience for the young singers and instrumentalists, performing some of the greatest music ever written, alongside professional musicians in one of London’s finest concert venues.

Alison Rayner; Alto: Rebecca Stockland; Tenor: Mark Chaundy; Bass: Leandros Taliotis

MOZART – A Celebration

Symphony No. 35 in D major 'Haffner'  K385

Clarinet Concerto in A major K622

Soloist: Valentina Elner-Kupcha

(Interval)

Requiem in D minor  K626

Soprano: Alison Rayner; Alto: Rebecca Stockland; Tenor: Mark Chaundy; Bass: Leandros Taliotis

Conductor: Christopher Eastwood (St Benedict’s Director of Music)

 

 

Alison Rayner; Alto: Rebecca Stockland; Tenor: Mark Chaundy; Bass: Leandros Taliotis

 

 

Tagged Senior