Brighton Festival Chorus release a studio recording of an enchanting arrangement of Holst’s In The Bleak Midwinter as a single today on Spotify and Apple Music, arranged and produced by Morgan & Pochin.
The mesmerising a cappella arrangement was composed by Morgan & Pochin in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and first performed by the Chorus as part of the Arts Council funded, socially-distanced Sussex Sings Christmas concert that was streamed from the Brighton Dome Concert Hall that year – one of very few performing arts events that took place in 2020.
To turn back the clock to that moment in time – in December 2020, only professional musicians could rehearse with a distance of 2 meters between each singer and only soft piano singing was allowed under the COVID restrictions. For Sussex Sings Christmas, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra filled the stage of Brighton Dome and the Chorus were spaced throughout the auditorium in line with these restrictions. It was a moving sight and and a lasting image emblazoned on the memories of those times for all that took part – redolent of a Christmas that many spent alone.
The single is released today as the Chorus gears up for its more joyous Christmas Concert in Brighton Dome on Sunday 11 December – a season where musicians are able to perform together and where families are able to be together once more, but it serves as a reflection and a reminder not only of the pandemic but that Christmas can also be a time of loneliness and that the world a broken place with war in the Ukraine, political turmoil and many in our own communities suffering the effects of rampant inflation and the cost of living crisis.
And yet, Holst ends with a note of hope and optimism – Yet what I can I give Him, Give my heart – a reminder of the hope of Christ’s birth, of humility, of the kindness of humanity, of inclusivity and of the power of music to draw people together.
Brighton Festival Chorus wishes you peace this Christmas and we hope that you enjoy and find solace in this entrancing arrangement of a much-loved Christmas favourite.
Tickets for the 2022 Brighton Festival Chorus Christmas Concert in Brighton Dome are available from the Brighton Dome Box Office.
To support the work of Brighton Festival Chorus and its quest to bring beautiful choral music to wider audiences and encourage new singers, visit GoFundMe.