MUSIC REVIEW: Motettenchor Speyer Choir, Germany, at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding

Rev John Bennett and churchwarden Marion Brassington of St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, where the Motettenchor Speyer choir of Germany were in concert.
Rev John Bennett and churchwarden Marion Brassington of St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, where the Motettenchor Speyer choir of Germany were in concert.
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An evensong but unlike any seen before at Old Nicolas

Members of St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, experienced an evensong never to be forgotten when the Motettenchor Speyer choir from Germany.

The concert marked the continuation of a relationship between the choir, church and Spalding that has lasted for more than 25 years.

Led by founder and conductor Marie Theres Brand, Motettenchor Speyer sang works by fellow German countrymen Heinrich Schutz, Andreas Hammerschmidt and Friedrich Silcher, along with more familiar composers such as Mozart, Handel, Bach and Mendelssohn.

The sound of men and women singing with almost perfect harmony, accompanied by a mini orchestra of violinists Juliane Sauerbeck and Lukas Weber, viola player Christina Strimbeanu, cellist Johannes Vorholz and the church’s own organist David Bishop, brought a magical touch to a mild midsummer’s evening in Spalding.

An appreciative and spellbound audience, who also heard the choir form an alliance with singers from the church, had a memorable taste of German choral music before sending them on their way to concerts at Boston Stump and All Saints’ Church, Stamford.

Church spokesman David Jones said: “Marie is keen on making and maintaining contact with choirs in other countries and it was she who hosted our church choir when we went to Speyer in 1984.

“She has also organised visits for members of our parish visits for members of our parish and taken her choirs to several European countries, China and ran the 2000 Millennium Choirs Festival in Speyer with choirs from all six of its twin towns, as well as a choir of 60 girls from Norway.

“Members of the specially-formed Spalding Millennium Singers still talk of it as a highlight in their lives.”

Review by Winston Brown