REVIEW: Vivaldi's Women and the Medieval Trio, Chichester Cathedral

Occasionally there is an outstanding concert in the Festivities which is totally different from all those concerts we normally enjoy.

For me, in 2002 there was Lo Sposalizio, in 2004 there was the full Monteverdi, in 2007 Tenebrae and now many will remember 2009 for the glorious celebration of women's voices in Vivaldi's Women and the Medieval Trio.

It was two completely separate concerts in one evening. The range and versatility of the female voice was beautifully demonstrated in each.

Vivaldi's Women developed from the Oxford Girls choir and their period costumes make them look very authentic. The women cover the full traditional vocal range, soprano, alto, tenor and bass producing a beautiful combination of sounds

Their musicianship has great clarity and balance. They sang the famous Gloria with emphatic joy from the very first chords. Outstanding were the two sopranos, Hannah Nye and Nancy-Jane Rucker whose performance of Laudamus Te was a highlight of the concert.

In complete contrast Trio Medieval presented their highly-individual style with a diverse programme of Norwegian songs, polyphonic medieval music and works written by them.

The Cathedral acoustics were ideal for their style of singing. They sang with and against each other developing harmonies with great professionalism.

Graham Hewitt