1839 Consort Music of the Eve of Mothering Sunday, St John’s church, Crowborough.
A delighted audience was taken on an emotional roller-coaster of Lenten music by Lotti, Kuhnau, Buxtehude, which was contrasted with settings on a Marian theme by Bruckner and Howells.
The evening culminated with an exuberant rendition of Magnificat by Albinoni.
Soloists from within the group trotted out fast semi quaver passages with ease, as if reading their weekly shopping list – albeit it an incredibly exciting one!
The wizardry of keyboard player Jonathan Rawles should not go without credit, supporting soloists and choir with sensitivity and skill.
There is no denying that this was a heavy-weight programme with no trifling ditties to lighten the mood, but that’s no bad thing. 1839 Consort clearly understand how to perform serious classical music very well, staying true to authentic performance practice and ornamentation but how refreshing to find it performed without pretention or stuffiness.
Dressed simply and colourfully without a trace of a bow tie, they were easy to watch under the gentle direction of Peter Ellefsen. There were no tomes of programme notes to politely read through because each piece was charmingly introduced by a performer giving the audience a lovely personal connection with the group. Such a heavenly blend of voices combined with technical expertise is unrivalled among amateur groups, and I commend 1839 Consort to you.
A very exciting and pleasurable evening was spent and by generously donating all proceeds, St. John’s church hall appeal is £600 better off. 1839 Consort have a Facebook page, so keep an eye out for their future engagements.