Review: Claremont School perform Fauré’s Requiem, All Saints Church, Hastings.
These were the words of one parent at the end of the school’s first performance of an oratorio, Fauré’s Requiem, at All Saints Church in Hastings on Saturday, June 30.
The concert opened with the Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Requiem, sung with angelic tones by nine-year-old Emily Carey, who has recently been selected to play Little Shrek in London’s West End. The next soloist was Isabelle Riley, who gave a moving performance of Michael Head’s O Gloriosa Domina.
The first half ended with Claremont’s Senior Choir singing two songs by Paul Mealor - In my Dreams, with tenor soloist Leo Levinson from Year 7, and then Wherever You Are, the tribute to our armed forces made famous by Gareth Malone and his Military Wives choir.
This piece is especially relevant for the wider community at Claremont School and All Saints Church, as family members are serving with the First Battalion of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment.
The choir charmed the audience with their youthful sound and clear diction. The haunting, slow second movement, Offertoire, was sung by a semi-chorus of professional singers: Judith Colman, Elizabeth Cole, Michael Savage and Bernard Perkins. Liverpool University music student Jennifer Capstick’s pure soprano voice created an atmosphere of calm for the Pie Jesu which had the audience spellbound.
The choir gave their all with baritone soloist and Claremont Senior School headmaster Giles Perrin in the Libera Me, and the work closed with more than 50 singers comprising trebles, young sopranos and the ladies of the choir singing the soaring melody line of the In Paradisum with confidence and style.
The choir was supported by the orchestra led by Tony Shorrocks from Liverpool University, his students, peripatetic music teachers from Claremont and Matt Heath and Gareth-Victor Battell from Parkwood Sixth Form.
A retiring collection raised more than £400 for the Tigers in Afghanistan, the Welfare Fund of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment.