The Mayfield Festival Choir demonstrated its versatility earlier this week when it performed a varied programme of music accompanied by the London Primavera Orchestra and soloists from London’s Royal Academy of Music.
The evening included something for everyone, from favourites such as Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Regina Coeli to the more contemporary and demanding Stravinsky Mass – unusual in its arrangement of choral and instrumental parts, employing only the wind section of the orchestra. The audience was treated also to a spirited performance by London Primavera of Mozart’s colourful serenade, Serenata Notturna.
The programme concluded with Vaughan Williams’ An Oxford Elegy, powerfully narrated by well-known actor Sir Timothy Ackroyd with the choir and orchestra providing a moving and evocative accompaniment, magnified by the concert’s setting in historic St. Dunstan’s Church, Mayfield. The composition demanded exacting leadership by the Choir’s highly experienced music director and conductor Graham Caldbeck, one of Britain’s principal choral conductors.
The next opportunity to see this highly accomplished Choir perform will be on Sunday 8th May, when the programme will include John Rutter’s Mass of the Children in addition to music by Janácek, the up-and-coming choral composer Tarik O’Regan, Matthew Arnold and the popular Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein.