The November Classical Round-Up

Piers Adams as Pirate

I love going to local concerts at this time of year. Even reading about the ones I’m not going to attend can be fun. Excitement starts building in November as we plough ahead toward the Christmas and holiday season. It’s as if the various orchestras and choral organisations are revving their engines, inviting the rest of us to latch onto their energy. Or perhaps I’m just blowing smoke.

At any rate, November in Lewes starts happily with the East Sussex Bach Choir presenting Vivaldi and Handel. They’re presenting Vivaldi in high style, too with recorder virtuoso Piers Adams performing two of the master’s concerti. This will be followed by the choir and orchestra performing Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Vivaldi’s Magnificat. 

Adams, who lives here in Lewes, is the leader of the Baroque quartet Red Priest, who frequently perform in outlandish costumes with weird lighting effects and amusing props. This concert is a must, not only for the chance to hear Piers play, but also because the orchestra for this event will be the wonderful Baroque Collective led by Alison Bury, and all held together by local maestro John Hancorn.

Sat 17 at 7:30pm, Lewes Town Hall – Tickets £20, £18, £12 from Lewes Information Centre or via ticket line – 07759 878562

The following night you can easily travel from the Baroque era into the Twentieth Century by getting yourself over to St. Michael’s Church and hearing the Lewes Singers perform Duruflé’s Requiem, Arvo Pärt’s glorious Which Was the Son of… , a short work for choir based on the begats from Luke 3, and finally Surrey-based Clive Osgood’s Hymn to the Word, an anthem for choir and organ that was premiered just last year. The Lewes Singers are conducted by Nick Houghton and the organist will be Iestyn Evans.

Sun 18 at 6pm, St Michael’s Church, Lewes  – Tickets £8, £5 concessions, children free – Tel 01273 472489

Finally, the Nicholas Yonge Society present a recital by clarinettist Timothy Orpen and pianist Alison Farr.  Both considered virtuosic performers, Orpen was called a “blazing talent” by The Times while Farr’s critics describe her as a “pianist of innate sensitivity and poetic insight.”  The programme, comprised of works by Finzi, Mozart, Schumann, Brahms and Weber, should appeal to a wide audience of Romantic as well as Classical lovers.

Fri 23 at 19:45pm, Sussex Downs College, Lewes – Tickets £14 at the door or from www.localboxoffice.com, or in person from Lewes Travel.

For those not wanting to wait for mid-November to get their classical music fix, travel down to Brighton for the Brighton Early Music Festival which began in October, but which continues through till 11th November. Highlights include the opportunity to hear Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio for clarinet, viola and piano on 2nd

November, harpsichordist Steven Devine playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations at 3pm on 4th November, a celebration of the music of Gabrieli played by The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, and finally on the 11th, traditional Jewish music ensemble The Burning Bush will host L’Chaim! (To Life!) – music and dance to celebrate the Old Jewish World.

Full concert details for Brighton Early Music Festival events can be found at www.bremf.org.uk

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