FRINGE – Brighton 16 – Matthew Jelf (Director)

Brighton has a new a capella choir of exceptionally fine quality. They will concentrate on 20th & 21st century repertoire and they have set the bar very high with three sumptuously difficult devotional works. Herbert Howells ‘Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing’ is a poignant lament for the death of John F. Kennedy. The generous acoustic, like a piano’s sustaining pedal, could have smudged the sound, an effect lesser choirs enjoy, but Brighton 16’s tuning is so precise that Howell’s complex harmonies were crystal clear. It is a choir of talented soloists, which Howell’s ‘Requiem’ demonstrated beautifully.

Frank Martin’s ‘Mass for Double Choir’ is famously difficult. I know the singers were all counting furiously but you couldn’t tell that from their alert rapport with their inspirational conductor.

This programme is being repeated tomorrow (1 June), no doubt with as much adrenalin and obvious enjoyment for both the singers and the audience.

St Michael’s Church, 31 May 2019
Rating: ★★★★★
Andrew Connal

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