Burnham Music Group,

An English Idyll,

Performed at St Mary’s Church,

Burnham, Saturday June 9

Peter Dale consolidated his return to directing the group he founded 41 years ago, with a fascinating and variegated programme.

This included good use of the excellent string quintet lead by Chris Gould, who not only supplied instrumental support throughout, but also played several Frank Bridge folk song arrangements plus his second Idyll for strings and Purcell’s Overture to The Indian Queen featuring an exciting Trumpet Obbligato played by Will Potten.

Vaughan Williams’ five Mystical Songs for Chorus and Bass featured some excellent restrained singing from former music director Terry Saunders.

It which worked well with the chamber instrumentation of what is in the main an inward work reminiscent in mood of the Norfolk Rhapsody.

Peter Dale having shepherded the Burnham Music Group through three somewhat slick folk arrangements by John Rutter then started to direct a lush and impassioned work of his own, Was Ever Love So Fair.

But, sensing it was going astray, astutely stopped it, advising us all that we would get a much better rendition after the refreshments of the interval.

In which prediction the Burnham Music Group proved as good as his word.

The concert concluded with extended excerpts from Purcell’s Semi Opera King Arthur of which the highlights, for me, were Terry’s very funny rendition of What Power Art Thou to an accompaniment like Winter from Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons.

An excellent performance by a radiant sounding Suzanne Walker in both No Part Of My Dominion and in a duet with Terry with For Love Every Creature which was immediately followed by a lovely chorus of Pleasure Of Love well delivered by the Group.

Three more arias, a final chorus and a Grand Dance for strings brought both King Arthur and an excellent concert to an end.

John Phillips