Hailsham Choral - musical triumph at All Saints

Hailsham ChoralHailsham Choral
Hailsham Choral
Review by Robert Milnes

How appropriate that Hailsham Choral Society, under their inspiring conductor Jozik Kotz, should choose to perform Haydn’s great “Mass in the time of fear” (also known as the “Nelson” Mass) at this particular moment in time. The mass is in the dark key of D minor and conveys a growing sense of tension and disturbance, reflecting the widespread feeling of fear throughout Europe caused by the seemingly unstoppable advance of Napoleon, a feeling all too familiar during these times of political and economic turmoil.

Another topical choice in the programme was Purcell’s music for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1695, followed by Handel’s coronation anthem Zadok the Priest, thus mirroring a past and new monarch. The concert also included Purcell’s celebratory Te Deum and Jubilate and an organ solo by Bach, played by Colin Hughes.

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An unusual feature of the concert was the instrumental ensemble of strings, trumpets, timpani and organ, which gave a wonderful sheen to the tone of the choir. Jozik Kotz obtained beautiful sounds from his singers in quiet, loud and very loud music. The soloists Helen Bailey, Clarissa Meek, Ben Hancox-Lachman and Tim Dawkins gave splendid accounts of their parts and a member of the choir, Mr Ian Fry, provided his usual exemplary programme notes. Altogether a wonderful evening, supported by an enthusiastic audience and the generous sponsorship of Crane’s Estate Agents.

We look forward to Hailsham Choral’s next concert in Eastbourne, Handel’s dramatic oratorio Samson, on April 1st next year. With the rising young tenor Ben Hancox-Lachman in the title role and the superb soprano Helen Bailey singing “Let the bright seraphim” that is definitely a date for your diaries.

Robert Milnes

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