REVIEWS: Coronation treat as Choral Society shines

Undated Film Still Handout from Beauty And The Beast 3D. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from Beauty And The Beast 3D. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

LIVE REVIEW

Doncaster Choral Society

Priory Methodist Church

THE Society’s final event of the season worthily celebrated the Diamond Jubilee with a concert of English music.

In Handel’s anthems for the 1727 Coronation, choral singing of this gorgeous music was in focus, with impressive accuracy and rhythm. Assistance in semi-chorus passages (as later in Stanford’s B flat Te Deum, adapted for the Coronation of 1902) came from members of Leeds-based St Peter’s Singers, also conducted, of course, by Simon Lindley, who would surely have been pleased at the eager response to his baton the whole evening through.

The National Anthem in Britten’s 1961 setting and Parry’s Jerusalem, in both of which the enthusiastic audience joined, topped and tailed the concert.

Parry was also represented, with rousing Vivats, by I was glad composed for the 1902 Coronation and heard at each subsequent coronation.

Accompaniment was supplied by the Priory organ, finely played by David Houlder, who also contributed imaginatively chosen solos.

The Society welcomed back mezzo-soprano Margaret McDonald, surely the best current exponent of that voice.

Most notably she revived her interpretation of Elgar’s Sea Pictures of 1899 – a byword for expressiveness and clarity of diction.

Dr Lindley contributed to her memorable performance with thoughtful piano accompaniments as he had earlier for Miss McDonald’s English song group, including Howells’s King David and two numbers from Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel (1904), an eight or nine song cycle usually heard from a baritone, but these two in particular go well with mezzo, and it was a rare treat to hear them in that guise. Indeed, the whole evening was full of delight.

* “Orpheus”

FILM REVIEWS

The Raid (18)

ROOKIE cop Rama (Iko Uwais) is part of an ill-prepared SWAT team charged with infiltrating a 15-storey apartment block, which doubles as the headquarters of notorious drug lord Tama (Ray Sahetapy) and his sadistic henchmen Andi (Doni Alamsyah) and Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian).

Led by Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) and Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim), the cops have one simple and admittedly difficult objective: fight their way to the top floor and destroy Tama’s criminal network.

Gaining access to the building, the good guys quickly realise they have stumbled into a trap.

Over a loudspeaker, Tama offers residents of the block a princely sum to slay the cops outside their front doors and the drug lord watches with sadistic glee as the corridors become a sea of spent bullets and discarded blades.

Rating: Four stars

2 Days In New York (15)

Neurotic artist Marion (Julie Delpy) is happily ensconced in New York with radio DJ Mingus (Chris Rock) and her young son Lulu (Owen Shipman), who affectionately refers to the new beau as “fake daddy”.

A visit from her papa (Albert Delpy), sister Rose (Landeau) and Rose’s pot-smoking partner Manu (Alex Nahon) begins badly when the two men are stopped at US customs, attempting to smuggle 10 sausages and eight cheeses into the country in their undergarments.

The dysfunctional clan’s arrival coincides with Marion’s forthcoming exhibition of photographs, which will culminate in her making an existential statement by selling her soul to the highest bidder.

As opening night approaches, tensions escalate in Marion and Mingus’s cramped apartment, exacerbated by the language barrier between the radio host and his garrulous guests.

Arguments sow the seeds of relationship discontent and Marion frets about the ramifications of spending the rest of her life with one man.

Rating: Three stars

Film review: Beast of a movie still a beauty of silver screen

Beauty and The Beast 3D (U)

MORE than 20 years after Beauty And The Beast became the first animated feature to contest the Oscar for Best Picture, Disney’s “tale as old as time” returns in a new 3D print.

Spirited Belle (voiced by Paige O’Hara) swaps places with her inventor father (Rex Everhart) as prisoner of the accursed Beast (Robby Benson) and falls for her hirsute host.

Musclebound rival suitor Gaston (Richard White) leads the torch-wielding villagers against the Beast but the rabble meets its match in the enchanted servants led by tightly wound pendulum clock Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers) and flirtatious candlestick Lumiere (Jerry Orbach).

Rating: Five stars