Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

polyphony2Polyphony in Pevensey

Music correspondent Brian Hick attended the concert given by the Polyphony Vocal Ensemble at St Nicolas Church in Pevensey on Saturday 25 May 2019.

Polyphony made a welcome return to St Nicolas, with a joyous mix of music for a summer evening. After a Jubilant opening which set the tone of clarity and engagement they reflected the church’s proximity to the sea with the gently lilting The Roll of the Sea and an upbeat arrangement of La Mer. This was sung in French and the ensemble showed their linguistic skills soon after with the Mexican favourite Cielito Lindo.

In between we were on safe ground with a heart-warming arrangement of Flying Free and a near barber-shop rendition of Misty.

The first half ended with a move away from the secular to reflect the church setting with John Rutter’s lovely A Clare Blessing and Libby Cozens’ solo singing of You’ll never walk alone.

The second half opened in similar vein with Barbara Burgess singing Wishing from Phantom of the Opera, before we were swept away by grandmothers, in the quirky A Bonnie Wee Lassie and Grandmother’s Feather Bed. A complete change of mood took us through two spirituals – Deep River and Walk Dem Bones – to a section of Baroque music.

The Lacrymosa from Mozart’s Requiem was given in a highly convincing arrangement for the five female voices followed by Handel’s lascia ch’io pianga from Rinaldo and Gluck’s  Torna O Bella from Orpheo. We returned to the present for the sentimental but none the less effective In Our Children’s Eyes to conclude the evening, but the ensemble were persuaded to add a tonic sol-fa Gallop to bring a smile to all faces as we left.

Throughout, the five female voices, under their conductor Sue Barrett, had maintained a constant flow of texture and tone, combining a cappella sections with more spirited accompaniment from Jenny Beckwith, but maintaining at all times a level of engagement and musicality which left us wanting more.

Their next scheduled performance is not until December but you can keep in touch through their website.


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Posted 15:56 Friday, May 31, 2019 In: Music & Sound

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