…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.
…the best sounds of all emerged from the choirs the Leeds and Sheffield Philharmonic Choruses singing with that soft, comforting tone …
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.
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.
This performance contained power and introspection… a meaningful performance, full of integrity.
[In the Requiem Aeternam] The Leeds Philharmonic Chorus … produced a refined texture. The Dies Irae, by contrast, was a terrifying blaze.
Tingling with atmosphere … as natural as breathing.
We have never heard the Leeds Philharmonic … in finer voice … this concert was one we were all deeply privileged to attend
One of the finest performances we are ever likely to hear.