Brighton Orpheus Choir
with the Musicians of All Saints
leader Sophia Bartlette
Claire McKenna (soprano)
Emma Watkinson (mezzo soprano)
Ben Francis (tenor)
James Priest (baritone)
conducted by Stella Hull
Saturday 6 December 2008
St John’s Church,
Preston village, Brighton
There was a second concert on Wednesday 10 December in Lewes.
The second half of the concert enjoyed a selection of Christmas music,
including Bruckner’s motet Locus iste and O Magnum mysterium by contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen.
William Matthias Sir Christèmas
Anton Bruckner Locus iste
arranged by David Willcocks God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Morten Lauridsen O magnum mysterium
from Piae Cantiones, arranged by Reginald Jacques Good King Wenceslas
arranged by John Rutter Past three o’clock
Hector Berlioz The shepherds’ farewell, from L’Enfance du Christ
arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams O little town of Bethlehem
John Rutter Nativity carol
arranged by John Rutter The twelve days of Christmas
Felix Mendelssohn, arranged by David Willcocks Hark! the herald angels sing
The “Nelson Touch”
The famous naval expression could be applied to a remarkable concert at St John’s Church, Preston Village, which was honoured by the Mayor and Mayoress of Brighton & Hove on the evening of Saturday December 6th.
Nelson’s leadership relied on his extraordinary gift of inspiring others to work together, getting things right. Haydn was certainly inspired composing his famous “Nelson Mass”; no less so were the Brighton Orpheus Choir and the Musicians of All Saints from Lewes, united by the baton of Stella Hull. The result was a rare “out-of-this-world” experience of great music, including contrasting carols in the second half of the evening.
Some concerts presented by the choir are at All Saints’ Church, Hove. St John’s however was marvellous for its acoustics, enabling the most subtle intonations and rhythms, whether vocal or instrumental, to be enjoyed throughout the building. Another “plus”, among so many, was the clear diction – especially in the Latin text of the Mass. I am sure that Stella Hull ensured that every detail mattered – balance of dynamics between the excellent soloists from Trinity College of Music, London, the orchestra and, not least, the choir sections, who loved every single moment. You felt that all the present cares of our troubled times could be faced with new resolve. Above all art forms music crosses boundaries. What happened at St John’s was a musical excellence to the credit of all concerned. Brighton and Hove should ensure that such a treasure should be nurtured. I am so glad to have been there.