Carols at Haddo 2016
A review by BBC Presenter Euan McIlwraith
There are two things that give my Christmas a kick start. The Landward Christmas special and The Haddo Carol Concert. I’ve been going to the annual concert in the Haddo House Chapel for well over a decade and I’ll admit I was slightly apprehensive about how a new musical director would fit in.
Paul Tierney not only fitted in, he took the Haddo singers to a new high. After a rousing rendition of ‘O Come all Ye Faithful’ with the audience, the Choir grabbed the attention with ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ by Lauridsen. A delightful soaring piece featuring the nativity scene that rang out around the chapel. I leant back and relaxed, it was going to be okay!
The Concert just got better and better. A particular highlight, in an ocean of highlights, were the school children. The Voices Ensemble are always a welcome part of the concert, but this year they were quite simply spot on.
I talked to many after the performance and the overwhelming impression was that of relaxation and happiness. I scanned the singers during the Carols and every individual was beaming. The shear joy of singing was a delight to behold.
The Soloists also, for me hit a new high. Mike Radcliffe turned in an incredible tenor performance, all the more impressive as Mike usually sings bass!
As a journalist I can usually find a negative in most occasions. But not on Saturday. My knowledge of music is simply limited to enjoyment, but the wit, cleverness and inspiration provided by Paul Tierney shone through this whole performance like a Christmas Star.
I left Haddo full of the joys of Christmas. As I wrote at the start I’ve been coming to these concerts for more than 10 years and this was the best yet.
Last updated: December 22nd, 2016