8th July 2014 - Gazette & Herald
Review of Cwmbach Male Choir at Wiltshire Music Centre - Reg Burnard
"They sing, they say, in the language of heaven; they are British born but by the grace of God (maintains a friend of mine) Welsh. It is a Welsh Male Voice Choir: Cwmbach to be precise. And you will not hear better this side of Eastern Europe. A programme, partly devoted to the fascinating link they had with Paul Robeson, was full of fervour, passion, glorious sound; in fact, everything Welsh.
They had an excellent narrator - again with Welsh clarity of diction and enunciation - and, in Andrew Quick, a musical director who had a firm yet sympathetic hold. The choir did not miss a beat, oft times a millisecond ahead of Quick - call that Welsh passion - and their tone was constatnt, golden, to the end.
Their discipline, so often nowadays considered unimportant, was impeccable: All hands by sides as they sang, all across the lap as they sat; no fiddle faddling, no distraction. Newbury's American Trilogy was fascinating; John Rutter's arrangement of When the Saints Go Marching In was quite captivating but, for sheer roundness of sound and precision, the items sung in Welsh were the cream of the evening !
"Music the greatest good that mortals know"
Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
"After hearing just the opening bars by the Cwmbach Choir it was immediately obvious that this was going to be a World class performance. The final part of the concert was an emotional one for me although I found out later that I was not alone. Aside from the highly charged emotions and thrilling experience I particularly noticed the roundness of the sound and evenness which all choirs try to achieve. This together with singing from the heart, made for pure magic."
Gabriola Radio, British Columbia,
"The ability, versatility, confidence and hwyl of the Choir drew a standing ovation from the audience of 400 which included the Lord Mayor of Oxford."
Secretary, Oxford Welsh Exiles
"The 80 voice Choir delighted the audience with a diverse repertoire of songs from Opera to favourite hymns. At times their voices were as smooth as silk as they crooned a Welsh ballad whilst in other pieces the volume they created sent chills up the spine."
Artscope, Ontario, Canada
"The Cwmbach Choir displayed great virtuosity as they went through their repertoire."
"This choir has the best second bass section I have heard in years. The choir has a wide dynamic range and sings with a full throated choralism and frequently the effect was quite thrilling. Their soft singing was also particularly lovely. Prestigious singing indeed."
"This choirs precision and dynamics have to be heard to be believed. To receive such rapturous applause from a Welsh audience living in the cradle of welsh male choirs is certainly the finest accolade any choir could receive."
The British Bandsman
"A beautiful performance - well disciplined and with great charm."
Adjudicator- HTV Male Choir Competition
"The best body of voices in the competition so far."
Adjudicator- South Wales Miners Eisteddfod
"Their performance was an exhilarating experience, one to remember."
Adjudicator- Cardigan Semi- National Eisteddfod
"It is a very great pleasure to renew my friendship with Wales through the medium of the Cwmbach Choir and I am pleased to have had the opportunity of singing with them."
Commenting on the choral test piece "Spirits over the Water" the adjudicator said " how grateful Schubert would have been if he had heard this choirs interpretation"
Cardigan Semi-National Eisteddfod