This Brahms tribute included several songs, whose varying moods were well conveyed by the choir. “O süsser Mai” describes being unable to enjoy the spring. In “Im Herbst” the poet is more in tune with autumn. In a similar mood is “Waldesnacht” describing consolation being found in the darkness and peace of the woods. There was also the lovely and powerful “Nänie” lamenting that beautiful people must die but also celebrating their glory. “Alto Rhapsody”, featuring the richly expressive voice of soloist Sophie Dicks, described the suffering of a self-obsessed wanderer, and hoped for divine intervention to help him see his way out.
The concert finished with the St Anthony Chorale (Op 56a). Despite the name, this was for the orchestra alone, and consisted of variations on a theme, with different moods and instrumentation, finishing with the triumphant return of the theme. Antony Brannick conducted throughout.
An evening in which choir and orchestra combined to do Brahms proud.