Sussex Concerts

Concert Details

Title: Mayfield Festival Choir; Elijah
Performed by: Mayfield Festival Choir
Promoted by: Mayfield Festival
Time: Sunday, 5 May 2019, at 7:30pm
Place: St Dunstan’s Church, Mayfield
Description: Performers
Mayfield Festival Choir
Conductor: Jeremy Summerly
Orchestra: Ripieno Players
Soloists: Clare Tunney (Soprano), Frances Gregory (Alto), Richard Pinkstone (Tenor), Paul Grant (Bass), Grace Stephens-Spada (Youth)

Mendelssohn’s great oratorio Elijah was first performed in Birmingham Town Hall in 1846. In homage to that, Mayfield Festival Choir is joined by the Birmingham-based orchestra, the Ripieno Players. After the première of Elijah, the art critic of The Times wrote that ‘never was there a more complete triumph—never a more thorough and speedy recognition of a great work of art’. Eight months after the Birmingham performance, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert attended a performance in London, and in February 1848 the work was finally performed in Mendelssohn’s native Germany, in a German translation rather than in the original English. But by then, Mendelssohn had been dead for three months, cut down at the age of 38 after a series of strokes due to overwork and nervous exhaustion.

At Mayfield Elijah will be heard in its original English, sung by three young soloists from the Royal Academy of Music. They are joined by the ebullient Tenor, Richard Pinkstone, who returns to Mayfield for the third time in the last year. Elijah has remained popular in England since its first performance, and while it clearly owes a lot to Mendelssohn’s German predecessors, Bach and Handel, no other piece by Mendelssohn has the dramatic flair and breadth of expression of Elijah. In Mendelssohn’s own words: ‘Ever since I began to compose, I have remained true to my starting principle—not to write a page because of what the public or a pretty girl wanted, but to write what I thought was best’. And Elijah is very definitely Mendelssohn at his best.
Tickets: Ticket cost £24 (centre), £20 (centre rear) and £10 (sides) (half price for under 18s), available from 22 March 2019: a/ online at; b/ in person from Lambert & Foster, High Street, Mayfield; c/ by phone from 0333 666 3366 (This is a general booking line operated for us by TicketSource. Please be sure to say that you are booking tickets for Mayfield Festival Choir – Elijah. A postage fee of £1.50 will be applied to each order.)
Contact: Charlotte Snee

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