November is often a dark and brooding month, summer just a fond memory as we slouch resignedly towards winter. But soprano Briony Lambert and pianist Nicholas Houghton are presenting a recital of 20th Century songs that could go a long way towards helping you mitigate the month’s melancholia. Benjamin Britten’s Folksong Arrangements interestingly were written entirely while he was on a visit to America between 1939 and 1942. They might more accurately be described as compositions rather than arrangements, as the piano provides not an accompaniment to the song but another voice entirely. Evening, Morning, Night, also by Britten is a short song cycle originally written as incidental music for a play. Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs, written during the 1950s, are settings of thoughts and observations by Irish monks from medieval times. These texts were, more often than not, private marginalia and were not meant to see the light of day––some profane, some deeply religious. Barber’s music is at once brilliant, melodic and accessible.
Sun 6, 3pm, St Michael’s Church, free with retiring collection
Since Brahms wrote Ein Deutsches Requiem for the living, not the dead, it’s perhaps an uplifting work to immerse yourself in at this time of year. The Brighton Festival Chorus will perform this great masterpiece along with another of Brahms’ choral works, Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), a setting of a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin, one of Germany’s finest Romantic poets. Though much shorter than the Requiem, it is considered by many to be its equal in sheer musical brilliance. The soloists will be soprano Sarah Tynan and baritone Leigh Melrose and the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by James Morgan.
Sun 6, 2:45pm, Brighton Dome, £12-37, brightondome.org
The Corelli Ensemble continues its “Festival of Finzi” with the Corelli Suite for strings in D minor, Bach’s Oboe Concerto (featuring soloist Owen Dennis), Finzi’s Romance for String Orchestra and Saint-Saens Rondo Cappriccioso which will feature solo violinist, Maeve Jenkinson.
Sun 6, 4pm, Cross Way Church, Seaford, £10-12,firstname.lastname@example.org
20th century British a cappella choral works are on the bill for the Esterhazy Chamber Choir, offering Herbert Howell’s Requiem, Hubert Parry‘s Songs of Farewell, and music of the late John Tavener, including the Song for Athene, which featured in the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales. Their conductor will be Richard Dawson.
Sat 19, 7:30pm, St Michaels Church, £10-12, under 16s free, esterhazychoir.org
Musicians of All Saints, conducted by Andrew Sherwood, will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor (solo bassoonist Ian Glen), a premiere performance of Ian Morgan Williams’ Some Easy Music, Barry Mills Nocturnal Landscapes and Bright Morning Star for Violin and Strings, (violinist Christopher Phipps) and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.
Sat 19, 7:45pm, All Saints Centre, £12 & 9, children free
As a final note, we’re pleased to hear that the Lewes Chamber Music Festival have given us their dates for 2017–– they are 23, 24 & 25 of June. There will also be an LCMF Christmas Concert on 16 December at St Michael’s Church.