Wednesday, June 3

Glyndebourne Christmas Concert

- December 12, 2018

At this time of year one is spoilt for choice when it comes to seasonal choral offerings, from the secular to the eclesiastical, from amateur to professional. At Glyndebourne one eexpects the very best and they certainly delivered just that. The fine Tour Orchestra, thweir fabulous chorus and the members of their Youth Opera.

The first half consisted of opera classics, a tasty dish of Mozart, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Ponchielli, Strauss Offenbach and Gilbert and Sullivan, yes tasty and very rich.

The second half went festive with a couple of sing along carols as a selection of Christmas music that included Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sussex Carols, Andrew Carter’s The Holy Mystery and amazing Carol of the Bells arranged by Barlow Bradford featuring the Glyndebourne Youth Opera. And a find sound they make too.

I was less taken with Rutter’s Three KIngs of Orient which was beatifully performed but pack with so many questionable westernised cliches of middle eastern music that it sounded like an ad for Fry’s Turkish Delight. I felt much the same about his faux Caribbean number too!

I left sated, joyous but also feeling atinge of sadness and anger, not I hasten to add from this delightful seasonal feast of music. No, I am angry because the concert highlights the plight of music education. With successive administrations hacking away at art education and in this case particularly music, one has to wonder how orchestras and opera companies can survive, will they become an endangered species? Luckily Glyndebourne still has a little Arts Council Funding and retains a true commitment to their education and outreach programmes. You only had to hear the soaring voices of the young people in thes concert to see how worthwhile and important that is. I know that this is meant to be a review but let me say it’s a call to arms, time to raise our voices not in song but in protest at the philistine attitudes of government.


9 December

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★½

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