REVIEW: Chichester Singers, Chichester Cathedral

Once again Chichester Singers surprised their audience with a concert packed with miscellany of beautiful and diverse music.

A requiem, spirituals, traditional English folk songs and contemporary works made this an exceptional and very well received evening of music.

Under the confident direction Jonathan Willcocks, The Chichester Singers were accompanied by the Southern Pro Musica in a dramatic and emotional performance of John Rutter’s Requiem.

The gentle and lyrical Pie Jesu was masterfully sung by Bibi Heal (Soprano) who brought tenderness and inspiration to her contribution.

Chichester Singers showed their versatility and professionalism by immaculately achieving the many musical styles of this complex work which is a musical setting of the Roman Catholic Mass

Accompanied sympathetically by Richard Barns (Piano and organ) The Chichester Singers gave an immensely moving performance of the Five Spirituals from Michael Tippett’s most celebrated work A Child of Our Time. The choir conveyed the tremendous compassion and brotherhood which the work displays

Displays towards those oppressed by race or religion.

A highlight of the evening was Bibi Heal’s lively performance of Five English Folksongs arranged by Benjamin Britten. Her glorious version of The Ash Grove, Sweet Polly Oliver and The last rose of summer evoked all that is so wonderful about English songs. She brought a freshness and charm to these timeless examples of English folk music,

Graham Hewitt