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June 20, 2015 / basabbott

All Flesh Is Grass

Review

Brahms’ Requiem

Harleston Choral Society

St. John’s Church

The German Requiem has a poised, one foot in the afterlife air, with all its hopes and fears.

Under Christopher Bracewell’s direction the orchestra created the sombre opening, allayed by the ‘green shoots’ singing of the choir.

In the solemnities of All Flesh Is Grass the singers achieved some spine-tingling moments.

The dramatic, penetrative bass-baritone voice of Callum Thorpe and the cadenza and fugue for chorus and orchestra gave a rumbustious flourish to end the first half.

The choir then gave a rolling energy to How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings. Siona Stockel had opened the concert with a Vivaldi motet and a voice like a dextrous silver sword. Now she touchingly sang the movement inspired by the death of Brahms’ mother.

By the end, with the final notes of the heavenly harp, death just seemed like a serene slipping away.

Basil Abbott

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