St Saviour's Church, Eastbourne, June 2011
A resounding success for all!
A warm summers evening at the beautiful church of St Saviour's & St Peter's in Eastbourne provided the perfect setting for, a summer concert by Phoenix Choir on 4th June, attended by the Mayor Carolyn Heaps, and MP Stephen Lloyd.
The choir, aptly named as they await a new Musical Director in the Autumn, were led by Jane Pendry, after having worked initially with Brian Newman on a musical feast of works ranging from Vivaldi to Bruckner with much to please the ear in-between.
Jane Pendry gave us some background information on the pieces as well as showing her delightful personality with some amusing and pithy anecdotes. The evening began with Vivaldi's Domine fili unigenite and progressed to Haydn's Insanae et vanae curae and then to two unaccompanied pieces by Bruckner, Locus Iste and Schubert's Sanctus, which were well sung and phrased. A happy addition of Telemann's sonata in F for treble recorder and piano followed, beautifully played by Eileen Godier on recorder and Brian Steer on piano. The three movements were realised with fluency and colour. Eileen also played the accompaniment on descant recorder for Bach's Jesu, joy of man's desiring, which added to the beauty of this well-loved piece. Mozart's Ave Verun Corpus is always well received and ditto Cesar Franck's Panis Angelicus. We were then treated to the lovely singing of mezzo-soprano Rebecca Kelly, who delighted the audience with Mendelssohn's O Rest in the Lord and then showed off her considerable vocal skills with an aria from The Italian Girl in Algiers by Rossini, Cruda Sorte, Amor tiranno.
The second half of the programme was given over to Rutter's melodic and emotive setting of ten folk songs, now a firm favourite in any choral programme under the heading, The Sprig of Thyme. Phoenix chorister Karen Sindstadt sang the solo in The Cuckoo, showing some lovely, silver top notes, and personally I loved the renditions of Down by the Salley Gardens and Afton Water.
It was a lollipop evening with something to please everyone and the choir are going from strength to strength with enthusiasm and an obvious love for singing. A resounding success for all.
Review by Carol Mounter