Russian Programme - Sussex Chorus 31st March 2012

From Russia With Love would be a description of Sussex Chorus’s sacred and secular performance at All Saints Church, Hove. It was an ideal setting with the choir in complete control from their musical director Neil Jenkins.

The unaccompanied Sacred Choruses by Tchaikovsky, which started the programme, reminded me of the time I heard a performance by a Russian choir. The performance was equally as good with the gentle fading of the work with a magnificent sound from the basses. Jenkins works very hard introducing new English translations to many of his concerts. The Lord’s Prayer was very moving. Joining the singers featured two excellent performers, Jacqueline Fugelle (Soprano) and Susan Legg (mezzo soprano).

The programme was well-balanced with well-known songs such as None But The Lonely Heart sung by Legg and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, music used for the musical Kismet, sung together with the soloists and chorus. Composers featured in the concert also included Glinka, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov. An avid fan of Tchaikovsky I enjoyed immensely Dawn (opus 46 no.6) sung by the two soloists. Accompanist of the singers was the well-known pianist Terence Allbright.

It was a pleasure to hear the Polovtsian Dances as it reminded me of when I was as a youngster with a choir’s performance at the old Hove Town Hall.