Miserere - Costanzi Consort, 16 March 2019
A note from Nigel Perrin, published in the Costanzi Consort Spring 2019 Newsletter
"What an enjoyable evening we had with the talented Costanzi Consort. The first surprise was that the journey from Bath to Weston super Mare was quicker than expected, and what a fine church it was - light, spacious and every bit as warm as the welcome from choir members at the door.
The programme was intriguing, being almost totally unfamiliar to me and most of the large audience, I imagine; but Dr Peter's erudite yet convivial commentary opened a window on some beautiful music which the choir sang with utter conviction and passion. Lovely tone, intonation and blend, enhanced by the warm resonant acoustic of the high vaulted roof.
After the interval, which came with wine and delicious home-baked cakes, we were treated to Allegri's Miserere, masterfully sung out of view in a side chapel, which lent extra mystery to this iconic piece with its spine-tingling high Cs.
Congratulations to TeamCC. We returned to Bath enlightened, uplifted and proud to be associated with such an impressive ensemble.
All in the April Evening - Spectra Musica, April 2016
"What Peter Leech has created with his choir is an impressive body of voices in which no individual stands out and which genuinely sings as one. Here is an ensemble that has been exceptionally well rehearsed with close attention paid to phrasing, breathing, diction and, perhaps above all, dynamics".
Full Review: http://www.theftr.co.uk/spectra-musica-all-in-the-april-evening-at-st-michaels-church-north-cadbury/
Christmas Truce - Collegium Singers, 15 December 2014
"Director Peter Leech gave a fascinating and moving pre-concert talk before the Collegium Singers’ Christmas concert at St. John’s Church in Wellington, Somerset. The evening was built around a unique Christmas, that of 1914 in the newly established World War I trenches, which is remembered in history for the so-called ‘Christmas Truce’."
"Musically, it was a triumph. It has been very noticeable over the past few years just how much work Leech has put into fine-tuning the balance of his choir, not only in numbers per section but also in the ensemble sound. And the highlight of the programme was his own composition, a setting of the very famous poem by Major John McCrae, In Flanders Fields."
"This was not only a fine concert, but also a very enjoyable and moving history lesson."
Harold Mead, Taunton
Full review: http://www.classical-music.com/you-review/bit-humanity-world-war-one-concert-collegium-singers
The Power and the Passion – St.George’s Brandon Hill, Bristol, 2008
From start to finish the entire performance by the Bristol Bach Choir was exquisite. The performance began with John Blow’s ‘God Spake Sometime in Visions’ which, while being a decent opener, was not indicative of what was to come. The entire concert was lifted by the extraordinary recital of Scarlatti’s Agnus Dei which was topped by the performance of Handel’s ‘Eternal source of light divine’:
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne. The evening was definitely made by the performers. The conductor, Peter Leech, was perhaps as informal as a conductor could be as he spoke about the history behind the music.
The knowledge that Purcell’s My Heart is Inditing of a Good Matter was performed at James II’s coronation with Mary of Modena meant that one could imagine how “she shall be brought unto the King in a raiment of needlework”. One was also able to see how the music could be enjoyed “across all divides” as Leech suggested. Similarly the musicians themselves deserve congratulations. The ensemble was collectively excellent, but the stand-out individual was undoubtedly counter-tenor Timothy Travers-Brown. Daniel Stewart, Epigram (Bristol University)