Classical concert of two halves

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Manchester Camerata’s visit to Sheffield City Hall was indeed a concert of two halves.

The second part was given over entirely to two works by French composer Gabriel Faure.

His Cantique de Jean Racine, which was short and sweet but I found his Requiem amounted to less than the sum if its parts.

The performance of the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus was, as usual, impeccable and the two soloists - baritone David Stout and especially 18-year-old Sheffield girl Ella Taylor - were beyond criticism as was the playing of the musicians.

But it was the theme of the Requiem - death - that left me with something less than that special ‘Saturday night feeling’ as I made my exit.

In complete contrast, the first half of the evening’s entertainment was magnificent.

The Manchester musicians, with its dynamic leader Giovanni Guzzo demonstrating his virtuosity on the violin, gave a thrilling rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.

It is a lovely lyrical four-movement piece which went down a treat.

Classical music returns to Sheffield City Hall on Friday, February 24, when The Halle plays music by Mozart, Beethoven and Dvorak. The show is due to start at 7pm.

ANDREW JARVIS