LOCAL SCHOOLS SING WITH LEADING CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA

 

                ROBIN GREGORY reviews concert at Town Hall on March 26th

 

Eastbourne Choral Society’s latest concert broke one of  the rules about not performing with animals or children.  No animals, certainly,  but many children from Ocklynge and Ratton Schools !  And what a triumph !   In Rutter’s Mass of the Children, Jenny Johnstone and Katy Wood must have felt justifiably proud of their young choirs,  who not only made a major contribution with their spirited and accurate singing,  but also were admirably still and silent when they were not singing.

This Mass is one of Rutter’s most appealing works, with its incisive rhythms and colourful sound-world.  Conductor John Hancorn brought out as good a performance as one could wish to hear, with the three choirs, two soloists and small orchestra (the Eastbourne Players)  filling the resonant Town Hall with their joyous music-making.  Not every word was audible (always a problem  in choral music),  but commendably the children were scrupulous in the lovely setting of a Blake poem.  There were many felicities: the fine clarinet of Sandra Gamba in the Sanctus, the impeccable percussion, the attack of the sopranos, the gently rocking rhythms which sometimes seemed to be borrowed from Fauré.   Gerard Collett displayed a warm baritone which had something of France about it (more Souzay than Fischer-Dieskau), and Daisy Brown’s silver tones, though sometimes rather too quiet for this size of auditorium,  were floated effortlessly and always dead in tune.

Fauré’s early Cantique de Racine proved a delicate five minutes preparation for what was to follow.  Almost unknown until the fifties, the now much-loved, oft-recorded Requiem  received a performance that beguiled by its attention to detail and its respect for the composer’s intentions.  The orchestra of some sixteen players was ideal, each member well able to shine in the subtle solo passages, the whole able to rise securely to the rare fortes. The important baritone part could scarcely have been bettered.  The soprano was mercifully free of mannerisms or vibrato, and thus able to convey the gentle religious certainty of Pie Jesu. The choir was in fine form from first note to last.

Nothing had been left to chance.  Secure direction and meticulous concern for details of interpretation really paid off;  and even the intrusive Town Hall clock timed itself to fit neatly into natural gaps in the music .      

 

 

Home
About us
News
People
Locations
Future Events
Past Events
Contact us
Join us
Links
Members
Photo Gallery
Facebook Link
 

 

Home
About us
News
People
Locations
Future Events
Past Events
Contact us
Join us
Links
Members
Photo Gallery
Facebook Link

                                         Charity Registration No 1063701

                                         Charity Registration No 1063701