Philharmonic treat for Hastings


The second Hastings Philharmonic concert of the season is due to take place at St Mary in the Castle on Saturday November 4 at 7pm. This time the choir and string orchestra have an interesting mix of beautiful choral and orchestral classical and modern music to please a range of tastes. The Schubert and Mozart contrasts with the Britten and Holst bridged by one of Elgar’s finest orchestral pieces.

Benjamin Britten’s Cantate Misericordium is possibly the least well known of the pieces, but it deserves a public performance for its dramatic depiction of the parable of the good Samaritan. It celebrated the centenary of the Red Cross and a non-sacred text in Latin was specially commissioned to attune with the non-religious ethos of the Red Cross. The premiere in 1963 produced fine performances from Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and this performance will feature the excellent solo voices of Kieran White and Jolyon Loy. The choir have worked hard to reach the required speed and drama in the dissonance with the help of Marcio da Silva’s expert direction.

The two orchestral pieces in the programme are Mozart’s Serenata Notturna in D and Elgar’s Serenade for Strings which entertain in a way that may be expected of Mozart at his best, and Elgar is thought to have reworked an earlier suite to combine youthful creativity and maturity of style – it was purportedly the first of his compositions with which he professed himself satisfied.

It is always a delight to hear Schubert’s Mass in G, probably the best known and popular of his masses. The audience will be able to welcome back the beautiful soprano voice of Helen May to sing with the choir and above-mentioned tenor and baritone. Gustav Holst’s Two Psalms, whilst produced in the early 20th century, has a hauntingly familiar archaic flavour, simple and repetitive, suggesting plainchant.

Hastings Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, conducted by Marcio da Silva, November 4, 7pm at St Mary in the Castle, Pelham Crescent, Hastings TN34 3AF. Tickets £20/£17.50/£15.50 (Under 16 £5)

Peter Mould

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