Category Archives: Reviews

Review of “Sanctus” in Petersfield

Dedication to authenticity – Review by Fi Alsop, The News, Portsmouth In the programme notes for their concert Sanctus, the Renaissance Choir describe themselves as  ‘ambitious and friendly’. Both characteristics were much in evidence as they delivered a challenging programme with great geniality. In the sacred choral repertoire, there are many versions of the Sanctus to… [Read More]

Review: Rachmaninov’s Vespers concert on 24 October 2015 by Fiona Alsop

Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil (Vespers) is one of the most exquisite sacred works for unaccompanied voices. Written a century ago against a backdrop of the First World War and Bolshevik revolution, the deep serenity of this piece comes from the traditional Orthodox chants on which nine of the 15 movements are based. It is incredibly… [Read More]

Review: East meets West concert on 11 July 2015 by Ian Schofield

The Renaissance Choir and conductor Peter Gambie, recently awarded ‘Best Classical Music Act’ by Portsmouth News, justified this accolade in Saturday’s concert at The Church of the Holy Spirit.  Purity of sound and an excellent blend of voices were to the fore in an enterprising programme ranging from music by Byrd, to works by the… [Read More]

Review: Mozart Requiem on 28 March 2015 from Peter Rhodes, The News

St Peter’s Church suits this choir, both in scale and ambience, and their concert, under the precise direction of Peter Gambie, was something of a triumph. The main item was reserved for later, but the earlier part of the concert had its own jewels. There was an artfully crafted Missa Salve Regina by Victoria, by… [Read More]

Review: Karen – a treasure among pianists

Review of our “Into the Light” concert at St Peter’s Church, Petersfield on 25 October 2014: “Karen – a treasure among pianists” This was the Emsworth-based Renaissance Choir’s concert but the individual star was that treasure among pianists, Karen Kingsley. Giving the singers a break, she played Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata with a rhythmic security and… [Read More]

Review: Music for Voices and Trumpet

At the Church of the Holy Spirit, Southsea, on 19 July 2014 Scottish composer James MacMillan was adroit in tailoring the trumpet part in his 2010 setting of In Splendoribus Sanctorum, allowing trumpeter Fraser Tannock to create a deliberate and potent contrast with the still reflectiveness of Peter Gambie’s select choir as the soloist moved around the… [Read More]

Review: “Messa di Gloria” by Puccini, St Peter’s Church, Petersfield, 12 April 2014

Peter Gambie, conductor of the Emsworth-based Renaissance Choir, invariably produces interesting and appealing programmes – and this one was positively captivating. The main item, Messa di Gloria, was written as a graduation exercise by the teenage Puccini and has frequent hints of the operatic composer he was to become. Those hints were done full justice… [Read More]

Review: “East Meets West” – St Peter’s Church, Petersfield, 26 October 2013

Thank you for an impressive performance in your ‘East meets West’ concert.  The concert showed the choir’s versatility, with well-chosen music ranging from deep, sonorous Russian Orthodox to modern close-harmony American music, with some English renaissance added for good measure…and wonderfully sung it was, too. I particularly appreciated the accuracy of intonation, and the strength… [Read More]

Review: “Food of Love”, St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth, 6 April 2013

A programme entitled “Food of Love” produced distinguished, pure-toned music-making, as ever, from the Emsworth-based Renaissance Choir – even if the material itself seemed (to these ears) of mixed quality. In three pieces by American composer Eric Whitacre, for example, the performances failed to persuade me that his music has the depth to justify its current… [Read More]

Review: “Tranquility” – Portsmouth, July 2011

“Saturday’s concert, given by the Renaissance Choir, in St. Thomas’ Cathedral, confirmed their status as one of Hampshire’s leading chamber choirs. (…) Throughout, the choir’s blend and ensemble, under the direction of conductor Peter Gambie, was consistently high. Particularly memorable, in the concert’s first part, were Czemisky’s Pater Noster and the double choir setting of… [Read More]