Good Friday concert will challenge Littlehampton choir

The Edwin James Festival Choir in full rehearsal for their latest concert
The Edwin James Festival Choir in full rehearsal for their latest concert

THERE will be a change of pace for one choral group in Littlehampton set to perform its latest concert.

Friday evening (April 18) the Edwin James Festival Choir will be taking to the stage to perform the renowned Brahms Requiem, Opus 45.

The group has been rehearsing the challenging work for several weeks and is hoping to hit all the right notes during the concert, at St James the Great Church, in East Ham Road.

Madeleine Duncan, spokeswoman for the choir, said: “Melodically, harmonically and rhythmically, the Brahms Requiem is certainly a more challenging performance for the Edwin James Festival Choir than its normal, more light-hearted and up-beat concerts.

“The requiem is a large-scale work composed for choir, orchestra, a soprano and a baritone.”

For the concert, a 40-strong orchestra will be performing alongside 70 choir members, together with soloists Lorna Moore and Mike Wadley.

The concert will be conducted by Edwin James’ musical director James Rushman.

Madeleine added: “The Brahms Requiem will be sung by the choir in English, and is an emotional work written for the living rather than the dead. It presents a great opportunity for the audience to witness a deeply emotional work from the first notes of sombre introduction right through to its joyous finale.”

In 1857, approximately a year after the death of both his mother and his best friend and mentor – Robert Schumann – Brahms began to form the idea in his mind to compose a requiem in German, based on texts from the Lutheran Bible and the Apocrypha.

Originally starting out as a choral piece, it turned into a cantata, and subsequently into a seven-movement requiem taking some three years to complete.

“It proved to be Brahms’ longest composition and the central work in his career establishing him as a composer of major structure, linking two of the most important spheres of his lifetime musical endeavours – the vocal and the symphonic,” Madeleine said.

The performance is at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 and are available from 01243 582330 or at the door on the night.

The concert will be in aid of the Sussex Air Ambulance service.