Chamber choir likes to spring a surprise

Essex County Standard: Now for something different in Colchester Now for something different in Colchester

The Colchester Chamber Choir likes to surprise audiences with unusual and imaginative programming – and their next concert promises to do just that.

Recent concerts have featured intimate madrigals and part-songs from England, a candle-lit performance of vespers from imperial Russia and grand celebration music for choir and brass from Austria and Venice.

This time, the choir (pictured) offers something completely different with an evening of music from the forests, mountains and plains of central Europe.

From Hungary, there will be Bartok and Kodaly, from Bohemia, Dvorak and Josef Suk, and the concert ends with Johannes Brahms’ celebrated Gypsy Songs, inspired by the catchy rhythms of Hungarian gypsy music.

The choir will be joined by the piano duo of Peter Humphrey and Stephen Smith.

Roderick Earle, the choir’s director, said: “This music doesn’t get the airing in Britain that it deserves.

“These folk-inspired works from Bohemia, Slovakia and Hungary have an earthiness and charm that is quite unique. The songs are about love, nature, folk myths and legends and I guarantee that the audience will find it hard to sit still with such an abundance of foot-tapping rhythms and infectious melodies.”

The Colchester choral ensemble was put together by international opera singer Mr Earle in 2009, with the intention of performing less frequently-heard music, often by composers better known for larger-scale works.

n In Nature’s Realm is at St Botolph’s Church, Colchester, tomorrow from 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £12 and £6 for students, which include a glass of wine or fruit juice, and are available on 01206 572783.

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