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Reviews of past concerts

I cannot praise Christopher Barr enough - not only does he conduct with complete authority, but he is so articulate in his introductions and really brings the music we are about to hear, to life. Believe me, this is a rare talent in musicians - so often, they can fill the music-making with their enthusiasm and talent but to be able to do that with words as well is a real gift. Sitting behind him in the audience, I could follow his every instruction to the choir and his beat is particularly clear - a necessity in a work like this. And even on the rare occasions when the boat rocked a little, he was instantly in control, pulling everything back on track. And to think that the last time this work was performed by the Choral Society, was the year in which he was born - a prodigious talent indeed!! - Review of Strathaven Choral Society Concert by Linda Ormiston



"This was Christopher Barr’s first concert as Musical Director and what a musical find he turned out to be - bags of personality, always in control, he conducted with great authority and musicality throughout Bach’s magnificent Magnificat and the much rarer Christmas Oratorio of Saint Saens." - Strathaven Choral Society Concert Review



"If Guitar Ensemble did well, Christopher Barr’s Legato Choir went way beyond that. First of all, the balance of voices was absolutely ideal with exactly four voices to each part and absolutely no passengers anywhere in this chorus. Bruckner’s Locus Iste was a glorious performance supported by a splendidly solid bass line and coloured by fine responses from every section of the choir to Christopher Barr’s well considered variations in dynamics and it was the choir’s strong sonorous bass contingent that we enjoyed so much in Locus Iste that made Rachmaninoff’s Bogoroditsye Dyevo  (Music for the Mother of God) sound so authentically Russian.

Two pieces in a similar vein, Bob Chilcott’s Irish Blessing and John Rutter’s Gaelic Blessing were sung with a radiant gentleness that suited the mood of the words perfectly and then I particularly enjoyed the male voices’ stylish singing of Alan Simmond’s arrangement of the Antonio DeVita classic Softly as I leave you. This music is sometimes attributed to Georgio Calabrese, but he wrote the Italian lyrics, not the music.

Wednesday’s splendid debut recital by the Legato Choir was brought to an impressive conclusion with a piece by Eric Whitacre entitled Sleep. It featured some startling harmonies and a carefully sculpted pianissimo ending." - Alan Cooper 2008  



"Christopher Barr’s dynamic and pointed attention to every detail......brought verve and intensity to the opening movement" - Alan Cooper



 "Chris Barr’s lovely clear singing of The Three Kings by Peter Cornelius was backed almost Hollywood style by soft distant backing from the choir " - Alan Cooper 2009, University of Aberdeen Carols for All concert



Christopher Barr - Conductor and Producer

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