‘Already we have a front-runner for the most unusual – and utterly delightful – Christmas concert of the year.
‘The music of South America has long been an Ex Cathedra speciality, and this Brazilian Christmas featured two major seasonal works by Brazilian composers of the late 18th century alongside a handful of cleverly-chosen smaller piece and – a thoughtful and moving touch – a tiny choral prayer by Villa-Lobos, added to the programme in remembrance of last week’s tragic plane crash in Colombia which decimated a much-love Brazilian football club.
‘I’ll admit it: I wasn’t prepared for just how entertaining the Missa Pastoril Para a Noite de Natal would turn out to be… the music of this contemporary of Beethoven proved utterly captivating, with lilting melodies, Haydn-like warmth and an endearing way of tumbling onto the ends of phrases. Amateur choral societies could probably sing it, and they should. Under Skidmore’s direction, it glowed…’ (Birmingham Post)