Friday, August 7

Resound & Rebelles: Brighton and Hove For The Holidays, Sugar & Spice

- December 8, 2019

This annual offering from two of the city’s finest musical groups has become a much loved institution and this year was no exception. Musical Director Stefan Holmström once again drives these talented singers forward with a programme of challenging music that would be daunting for any choir. Much as I baulk at using the word “journey”, on this occasion for their globally sourced programme it most definitely deserved to be used.

Holmström’s choice of material is fascinatingly eclectic and thoroughly entertaining, music from America, India, Africa and his home Sweden sits comfortably amongst the more familiar. The small break out offerings are well chosen and skilfully performed as are the solo voices.

Both together and separately the two choirs can handle both ancient and modern giving appropriate dignity and respect to the former and swinging the latter in a way that few choirs can do. They master the choral sound but also nail the contemporary and the period feel of numbers like Pure Imagination and a delicious arrangement of Jingle Bells.

Ramkali has become a firm favourite of this group and shows them at their most ambitious and possibly at their best – but I suspect that the new addition of Mangisondele Nkosi Yam will soon become the favorite, a spirited and rich Soweto choral gem that totally captivaetd the already gripped audience.

There is always balance to their concerts, balance of material and of mood, the serious and the light hearted sit side by side with an ease that would jar with lesser performers and this is an almost unique talent.

St George’s Kemp Town

7 December

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★★

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