Gabriel Fauré: Requiem
All Saints' Church, November 2018
Phoenix Choir ~ Remembrance concert.
After the considerable success of its Remembrance Concert, Phoenix Choir wishes to acknowledge and thank all of those involved for making the event so special. This includes all of those singing, listening and those who gave their services freely. Thank you too to the representatives from the charity Help for Heroes who were also present at the concert. As well as covering the cost of the concert the choir is thrilled to have been able to donate £852.65 to the charity, such was the generosity of the audience.
The reason for our being gathered that afternoon, which could never be far from our minds, was enhanced by many factors: the understated but effective decoration in the church; superb soloists and musicians; a programme arranged with great thought and care and an assembly of singers from across the local choral community who were certainly on top form. Even the skies cleared to ease the arrival of the near capacity audience.
In addition to the Fauré Requiem the choir performed a number of pieces including the less well-known setting of The Fallen by Peter Irving. Soloists Sian Sulke, Dan Jordan, Marcus Plant and Alexander Eadon bought their considerable talents to bear in their solo items. George Butterworth’s Is my team ploughing – a musical setting of A E Housman’s poignant poem – and Geoffrey Burgon’s Nunc Dimittis were performed so beautifully and sensitively that those present could not help but be deeply moved, as the atmosphere in the church proved.
In fact, many audience members have commented on the atmosphere throughout the concert, which combined solemnity and deep respect for the occasion with an intense appreciation of the musical performance itself. The result was a great coming together and sharing of a very special and powerful occasion, as demonstrated after the last note of In Paradisum had sounded, when MD Michael Fields held us all, performers and audience together, suspended in an absolute, silent stillness which was profoundly moving.
All in all, this concert by Phoenix Choir and friends marked the centenary of Armistice Day perfectly, and will be remembered in Eastbourne for a long time to come.