Joining a busy stream of concert-goers at St Saviour’s Church last Sunday, I had little idea of the musical treat that lay ahead as the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra accompanied by the Eastbourne Symphony Chorus and the Eastbourne Society Chorus performed Haydn’s magnificent oratorio ‘The Creation.’
This huge and complex work which narrates God’s creation of the world and all living species in seven days from incipient chaos must surely rank as one of the most challenging pieces in the concert repertoire.
Yet Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra performed it with impressive confidence and apparent ease, quickly stamping its authority on its copious technical demands.
When fine voices combine with equally fine instrumentation the effect can be electrifying, and it certainly was on this occasion with its rousing drama interspersed with moments of lyricism.
Integral to the success of this performance was the enormous contribution of soloists Rachel Shouksmith (soprano), Andrew Wicks (tenor), and Christopher Dixon (bass) whose vocal expertise was quick to captivate the audience in the spiritual setting of St. Saviour’s Church.
Under the authoritative baton of conductor Graham Jones, this performance really was a ‘tour de force’ for both the choruses and Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra which is now in its 42nd season.
With concerts of this calibre, it should look forward with confidence to many more seasons ahead.
Judging by the prolonged and vigorous applause given by the audience after this uplifting experience, I was clearly not the only one to have thoroughly enjoyed the evening.