CONCERT REVIEW: Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra

IT was time for something completely different from the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) when they followed a hugely enjoyable Baroque fest with a concert of somewhat greater substance on Sunday (November 13).

They do not get much more substantial than Verdi’s widely acclaimed Requiem and with the Brighton Festival Chorus joining the orchestra on stage, there was a guaranteed near full-house at the Dome.

Surely few could have gone home disappointed as the two darlings of the Dome faithful joined forces with four fine soloists.

But there could have been problems when mezzo Carolyn Dobbin was forced to pull out at short notice.

Thankfully, coming to the rescue was gifted Welsh singer, composer and producer Juliette Pochin, who as music director of the Brighton Festival Youth Choir, was a natural choice, with Verdi’s masterpiece clearly a well accomplished part of her extensive repertoire.

Also with a vast repertoire is soprano Rachell Nicholls, who gave a wonderful performance as the female parts were well supported by Michael Bracegirdle (tenor) and Paul Reeves (bass).

It was a glorious rendition to match the glorious November weather as Barry Wordsworth guided the BPO with tight but sympathetic control through one of the truly iconic works whose popularity remains ever strong as witnessed by tickets for the summer’s Proms being sold out in double quick time.

The eclectic 87th concert season of the BPO continues on Sunday, November 27, with Bruckner’s No 8, supported by Mozart’s Overture La Finta Giardiniera and Horn Concerto No 4.

Martin Owen is the horn virtuoso and Stephen Bell guest conductor.

Now for something completely different...again.

Chris Francis