Festive Favourites with Jessica Hynes

Bringing the festivities to Birmingham this Christmas, Jessica Hynes and the CBSO chorus and orchestra provide a glorious concert of classic Christmas carols, complete with humorous readings – and even the opportunity to sing along.

Writer and performer in television, film and theatre, Jessica Hynes has had an extensive career. Winning two British Comedy Awards, being nominated for an Olivier and Tony award, her accolades are phenomenal. Her soft yet expressive tone masterfully compliments her readings. She reads sections of stories about Christmas, various festive poems and even a snippet of the humorous Adrian Mole’s diary of Christmas day.

Jessica’s readings are intertwined between the sensational CBSO’s selection of Christmas carols, accompanied by the CBSO orchestra. The expansive array of instruments creates a triumph of sound.

The acoustics of the Birmingham Symphony Hall just can’t be beaten, and the orchestra’s sound is simply sublime. Lead by conductor Simon Halsey CBE, the 180 singers brought impressive harmonies and stunning sound to the Symphony Hall.

With a combination of traditional carols, medieval carols and orchestral pieces. It’s the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax and unwind whilst immersing yourself with the beautiful music. With highlights being the utterly beguiling acapella numbers such as O Magnum Mysterium.

The CBSO chorus have been trained for over 30 years by Simon Halsey CBE, and they have a global reputation. They treated us to numbers such as Hark The Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, O Come All Ye Faithful and the sensational Love Divine. Not to forget the joyous final Christmas medley, they included songs such as Deck The Halls, Jingle Bells and Good King Wenceslas.

It would have been impossible to leave Festive Favourites without a smile on your face. The beauty of the music, vibrancy of the energy and all round festive feeling provided the perfect Christmas treat.

Review by Amy Stutz for Grapevine Birmingham http://sincerelyamy.com/