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Review of Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Brahm’s A German Requiem by King’s Lynn Festival Chorus at Minster: Audience treated to special concert of splendid programme

Members of the packed audience at King’s Lynn Minster must have been aware that a special concert was to be performed by The King’s Lynn Festival Chorus, conductor and soloists, and they were not wrong!

The splendid programme consisted of Elgar’s Sea Pictures in the evening’s first half and Brahms’ A German Requiem in the second, both works composed within 30 years of each other.

Elgar’s Sea Pictures were performed in the version with piano accompaniment by Bethany Horak-Hallet, (mezzo soprano), and the evening’s popular conductor Ben Horden at the keyboard.

The concert was held at Lynn Minster
The concert was held at Lynn Minster

The songs evoke the power and sweep of the sea, as well as its calmer moments, and all those characteristics of the music were well conveyed by the delightfully sensitive interpretations of both musicians.

Brahms’ A German Requiem, concentrates on the more humanistic aspects of religion, the composer apparently favouring a possible alternative title of: A Human Requiem; this grand choral piece’s focus being on comforting the living and consoling those who mourn.

Both the passing of Robert Schumann, a close friend of Brahms, and the death of the composer’s mother are supposedly commemorated in the Requiem.

The version of the work performed was for chorus, soloists and piano duet by Brahms himself, not the original orchestral scoring, but the power, richness and solemnity of the work was conveyed well by the chorus, soloists, and piano duet.

Thanks to Bethany Horak-Hallett, (mezzo soprano), Felix Kemp, (baritone), and pianists, Michael Pandya and Lana Bode, all distinguished musicians enjoying successful professional careers.

We also enjoyed a popular encore: Britten’s arrangement of Down by The Sally Gardens.

The chorus’s next concert, also conducted by Ben Horden in July, is of Rossini’s joyful Petite Messe Solennelle, not to be missed!

Review by Andy Tyler

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