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In The Press

A mighty ovation greeted the première of Philip Wilby’s A Brontë Mass, commissioned by the Philharmonic Chorus.
It is a major addition to the English choral repertoire from a composer steeped in its history. It is more muscular and red-blooded than most works in the tradition and has integrity and clarity expressed economically.
It was beautifully performed by the Philharmonic Chorus under their musical director David Hill with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Yorkshire Post, Nov 2007 Wilby, Bronte Mass

Leeds Town Hall audiences are not best known for their empathy towards anything composed in the last 50 years, so that the prolonged ovation that greeted the choral work, Harmonium, by the American composer, John Adams, must have surprised and delighted the combined Leeds Festival and Philharmonic choruses.
It had been a brave venture with the technical demands obviously requiring much detailed rehearsal, while the fact that they were for long periods harmonically contrasting with the orchestra was a severe test of their intonation.
They emerged wonderfully secure, unscathed and triumphant, the work’s long, quiet ending as absorbing as the many passages that required a shiver of excitement to race through the music.

Culture, Yorkshire Post Today, May 2006 Adams, Harmonium

…This concert marked David Hill’s first appearance as ‘the Phils’ music director; a post he occupies concurrently with the music directorships of the Bach Choir and St John’s College Cambridge. The members of his Leeds Choir are going to have a very fruitful relationship with their new conductor. This was abundantly clear to those of us who were able to witness the sheer pleasure on Hill’s face at the crisp and wounderfully expressive singing that he coaxed from his choir and the splendid Sheffield Philharmonics Chorus… The airy textures in the Requiems most well-known number, the consoling ‘How loverly are thy dwellings fair’ were a revelation. So too were the looks of enjoyment on the faces of the choirs as they sang it.

Ilkley Gazette, May 2005 Brahms, Ein Deutsches Requiem

…the best sounds of all emerged from the choirs the Leeds and Sheffield Philharmonic Choruses singing with that soft, comforting tone …

The Times, April 2005 Mahler, Resurrection Symphony

The chorus [created] the tingle factor, launching into the Chorus of Demons
with suitable venom and pulling out all the stops as they came to that moment of crowning glory in Praise to the Holiest in the Height.

Yorkshire Post, Mar 2004 Elgar, The Dream of Gerontius

The Leeds chorus made a most impressive sound, exemplary in attack and quality of diction. The strain on sopranos is notorious in this work, but here they stuck to their task and were unstinting in the fortissimo passages.

Yorkshire Post, Nov 2003 Beethoven, Missa Solemnis

This performance contained power and introspection… a meaningful performance, full of integrity.

The Guardian, Sept 2003 Berlioz, Te Deum

[In the Requiem Aeternam] The Leeds Philharmonic Chorus … produced a refined texture. The Dies Irae, by contrast, was a terrifying blaze.

The Guardian, May 2003 Verdi, Requiem

Tingling with atmosphere … as natural as breathing.

Daily Telegraph, May 2003 Verdi, Requiem

We have never heard the Leeds Philharmonic … in finer voice … this concert was one we were all deeply privileged to attend

Yorkshire Post, Dec 2001 Mahler, Symphony No. 2