Choir faces tough challenge

Brahms’ German Requiem is the challenge for the East Sussex Bach Choir on Saturday, April 9 at 7.30pm at St John Sub Castro Church in Lewes.

Choir chairman Peter Wylie said: “Whether the Requiem was written in memory of Schumann or of Brahms’ mother can be left to scholars. What he composed is a great meditation on grief, loss and the possibility of life after death.

“Brahms originally wrote the Requiem for a very full orchestra but, wonderful though the orchestration is, the sheer volume of orchestral sound can obscure some of the more complex parts of the vocal writing. It also needs a choir of very substantial size.

“Brahms later wrote an edition of the orchestral parts for two players on a single piano and it is that less well known version that East Sussex Bach Choir is performing. This will give the audience a chance to hear many of the subtleties of the vocal writing that they might never have heard before.”

The choir, who will perform under their Music Director John Hancorn, will continue their tradition of providing opportunities for young soloists to perform major works. The soprano is Daire Halpin who has sung several times with the choir to great acclaim and she is joined by baritone Gerard Collett, a newcomer to the choir.

“The pianists are highly experienced local artists Jane Mansergh and Sylvia Holford who are also relishing performing this rare version of one of the great choral masterpieces.”

East Sussex Bach Choir has been performing in Lewes and across East Sussex for more than 20 years, to great acclaim.

Tickets are £15 and £10, free to anyone under 14, and tickets are available on on 07759 878562 and from Lewes Tourist Information Centre.