Comments & Reviews
'On 21st September the Priory Singers again joined forces with the Orchestra De Cymru to present a concert featuring anthems and the Requiem of John Rutter.
Following the usual pattern of a single rehearsal with the choir and orchestra, the performance was enthusiastically received by all. The Orchestra De Cymru was on top form as usual; sensitively accompanying choruses and soloists
with fine musicianship. This was no better displayed than in Rutter’s ensemble version of his Requiem. Using just six instruments, the accompaniment was always empathetic with some sublime solo work fromseveral members of the group. A delightful group of musicians who were friendly and sociable company throughout the whole experience.
Here’s to the next one."
Steve Benavente Director of Priory Singers
"To Rosie and all the wonderful team that is Orchestra De Cymru, many thanks for the splendid accompaniments provided for Gwent Chorale last Saturday. We enjoyed some lovely sounds from the ensemble and from individual instrumentalists. It was one of those evenings that just worked
and our well attended audience certainly had a thoroughly good experience. It really was thegrandest of grand opera galas. Our guest soloists and the school choir added hugely to the evening. Gwent Chorale looks forward to working with Orchestra De Cymru again next year.
Thanks all, and to Rosie for her organisational skills."
Martin Hodson - Gwent Chorale,
Thanks so much for Concert Orchestra De Cymru's fabulous playing in the Elijah on October 14th 2017.The orchestra played superbly and your consummate professionalism made what could have beenvery stressful run very smoothly indeed.
Guy Harbottle Conductor
Newport Philharmonic Choir
A fantastic Concert on Sunday in memory of cellist Sara Lovell who died of breast cancer in February. Over £1,200 was raised was for the Breast Centre Cardiff & the Vale & Penny Brohn UK.
The highlight of the evening was a magnificent performance of the Bruch Violin Concerto by Charlie Lovell-Jones (Sara's nephew) conducted by Simon (her brother & Simon's father).
Many thanks to everyone who took part & helped organise this concert especially the 54 professional musicians from the Concert Orchestra De Cymru & who donated their services,
"Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to the concert last night. What a talent. What a programme and what a fantastic venue. I was deeply moved by the Requiem and in total awe of Charlie. Sara must have been a wonderful person to have commanded such a performing turnout. Without doubt one of the best evenings in many a year"
Guest at 'Concert for Sara' September 17 2017
"Just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and your wonderful orchestra for last night's performance. I honestly think it was possibly the best line-up I have ever had the pleasure of conducting. The quality of your playing gave the choir such confidence and the friendliness of all the players made my job so much much easier. Here's to the next time!!"
David Owen - Conductor - Dorothy Adams Singers, June 2015
South Wales Argus, Monday 10 November 2014
There can be few instrumental passages as iconic as those that open Handel’s Coronation anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’ leading to the exultant opening blaze of sound from the choir. This, like the other three Coronation Anthems performed in this ‘Handel Celebration’, were written for the coronation of King George II and Queen Caroline in 1727 in Westminster Abbey.
Of the four anthems ‘Zadok the Priest’ is best-known. It was good to have the opportunity to hear all four side by side - some of the most enduring ceremonial church music ever written
The performances all received hugely assured performances from Stephen Benavente’s choir. Tempi were generally steady and the singing had the assurance and accuracy that one would expect from the 21 members of one of Wales’ best chamber choirs. The consistent vocal quality and carefully calculated balance meant that at no point were they swamped by the excellent accompanying Concert Orchestra De Cymru
There were also solo contributions from soprano soloist Stephanie Benavente that included a memorable ’Let the bright seraphim’ from ‘Samson’ – one of Handel’s most popular arias with its brilliant trumpet obbligato, superbly performed here.
Both halves had begun with instrumental contributions – a wonderfully fluent ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ set the scene for the choral excellence to follow and the Music for the Royal Fireworks, written for a display in Green Park in 1749
Review by Geraint Davies - Priory Singers - St. John’s Church, Newport Nov. 2014
"Many thanks to Concert Orchestra De Cymru for their excellent playing in our opera concert last week. The standard of every section was very high indeed and the tone was excellent. Most striking was the orchestra's ability, on one short rehearsal, to interpret my conducting style and deliver a tight ensemble in some highly challenging music. As ever the players were thoroughly obliging and a great pleasure to work with"
Guy Harbottle - Conductor - Newport Philharmonic Choir, Oct. 2014
"Just to say a huge thank you personally and on behalf of CGC for the excellent support given to the choir and soloists by the orchestra last night. It's always lovely to see you all again, the old faces and the new!
There were some outstanding individual playing as well don't you think? Those trombones were right on the ball, or rather, on the note!
It was great to sing to your accompaniment and I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the back row!! Lots of exciting and at the same time, beautiful playing to inspire us."
Martin Hodson - Coleg Gwent
"Great concert on Saturday. The Cherubini was superb a huge sound and well received by the audience who had never heard it before"
Alan Moore - Conductor Cwmbran Baroque Singers,
Concert Orchestra De Cymru has performed in aid of Save the Children's Philippines Appeal. New Year in Vienna was a stunning evening of musical favourites presented by Concert Orchestra De Cymru and headed up by visiting conductor Emmanuel Siffert from Switzerland. The concert at St Teilo’s ChurchCathays last Sunday also featured solos and duets by husband & wife duo Eldrydd Cynan Jones (soprano) and Geraint Dodd (tenor).Cardiff. Manager Rosie de Lloyd arranged and organised the concert. She said “I decided to support Save the
Children as soon as I saw the emergency appeal on the news following the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. “I was devastated and wanted to raise some money and awareness for Save the Children whose tremendous work makes such a positive and life changing difference” she added.“It is heartbreaking to think of children being parted from their parents. They are dependent on Save the Children who are supporting these families when they need it most”
Jan 30th 2014 - The Echo
"It's a great pleasure for me to work with this highly professional orchestra"
Emmanuel Siffert - principal Guest Conductor
"Many, many congratulations for Sunday...what a sound - mellow and not once overpowering the singers"
Patricia O'Neill - "Can You Sing Opera"
"We really enjoyed working with Concert Orchestra de Cymru. The players displayed a very high standard of professionalism and had all prepared themselves for the day by getting to know their parts for this long, challenging and little-known work. This made the afternoon rehearsal go very much according to plan. As a result, the performance was a real success with the orchestra providing an accurate and spirited performance with good tone from each section. Thanks CoDeC – looking forward to our next collaboration."
Guy Harbottle - Conductor Newport Philharmonic Choir,
"I just want to express on behalf of the Chorale our huge thanks for providing us with an excellent ensemble.
I thought the orchestral sound was glorious.....The audience reaction spoke much!
Apart from your playing, I must say it was good to chat briefly to many of you, and what lovely people you are, friends after all these years."
Martin Hodson, Coleg Gwent Chorale
"I just wanted to say how much we appreciated the orchestra who accompanied our concert. It makes an enormous difference to have such professionals supporting us. From the choir's point of view it also gives us confidence when we know that Steve isn't anxious about the band. We hope to be able to work with the players in the future."
Anne Dunton - Priory Singers