Seaford Choral Society, St Leonard’s Church, Seaford.
BRAHMS’ towering choral work E in Deutsches Requiem – A German Requiem – came to Seaford when the Seaford Choral Society, under the confident leadership of Musical Director Sion Parry, tackled this challenging piece. In its distinguished history, which can be traced back to 1917, SCS has sung the German Requiem on three previous occasions and last night’s performance was a worthy successor to this fine legacy.
The Requiem bears all the hallmarks of Brahms’ writing at its best: soaring harmonic architecture, complex contrapuntal interweaving and heart-melting melodies which follow you around for days! Once it had got into its stride, the choir gave a fine performance handling both the meaty fugal passages and the homophonic tuttis with assuredness and musicality. A lovely tone was produced throughout, but particularly in the pivotal fourth movement, How lovely are Thy dwellings, where the contemplative mood was beautifully captured.
The performance was complemented by two soloists whose voices were superbly suited to the demands of the Brahms score: Jozik Koc (baritone) and Lucinda Houghton (soprano). Jozik produced a superb sound which glided effortlessly above a sensitive choral accompaniment provided by the choir, and faultless diction meant you could hear every word. Lucinda gave an equally accomplished performance in her fifth-movement solo, suggesting that maternal consolation which Brahms so mourned.
It is refreshing to see the confidence of the Seaford Choral Society in sustaining such a breadth of programming and to see them mustering not only such a loyal audience but some 100 singers in the choir. A fantastic effort all round.