John Hancorn conducted the BREMF Singers and the BREMF Community Choir in a sold-out concert in Brighton celebrating European Early Music Day. Repertoire included extracts from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and the opening movement from Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the BREMF Players.
The concert was live-streamed across Europe.
Video here. Purcell at 1hr 5mins; Handel at 1hr 20mins
John Hancorn directed the BREMF Singers and Players in a programme of music from Britain, France and the Holy Roman Empire as the finale of the Brighton Early Music Festival 2018.
‘The highest point of this beautifully balanced concert was Purcell’s deeply tragic ‘Dido’s Lament’. Charlston’s delivery was so tender and Hancorn responded by allowing plenty of time for the drama while avoiding self-indulgence.’
Early Music Today featured John Hancorn’s performance of Handel’s ‘Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno’ in their October 2018 edition. The performance featured soloists Susanna Macrae, Thalie Knights, Clara Kanter and Matus Simko with the Baroque Collective.
‘The performance as a whole was expertly steered through a variety of colours and moods by director John Hancorn and the evening reached a perfect finish in the final aria … bringing a wonderful performance to an emotional end.’
Bach: Christmas Oratorio
BREMF Singers and Players directed by John Hancorn
Sunday 12 November 2017 at St Martin’s Church, Brighton
‘Conductor John Hancorn maintained a brisk pace but never at the expense of the Christmas story’s essential tenderness. Alert and responsive as ever, the BREMF Singers delivered plenty of excitement and agility alongside some very sensitive singing.’
‘John Hancorn conducted with a florid grace which kept the music tight and graceful while allowing the complex interactions of Bach’s melodies to entwine and entice us.’
‘The BREMF Singers are unparalleled in their precision, diction and singing in the original German provided an authentic feeling to the evening. I never fail to be impressed by the quality of the BREMF singers; they provided a superb level of choral singing which adds impressively to any event they are part of. ‘
John Hancorn and Richard Wigmore have launched ‘Sing and Discover’ day workshops for experienced singers, choirs and music lovers – a detailed exploration of the very best baroque choral music, including unique musical insights, historical context, recordings, and lots of singing. Repertoire includes Bach, Handel, Haydn and Purcell. Full details here.
‘… the BREMF Singers and Players who were flawless if not stunning in Purcell’s Ode To St Cecilia. John Hancorn, the director, pulled together a sprightly and authoritative performance with great momentum, perfectly suited to this music. If the solo singers made Purcell’s often florid lines seem effortless, the BREMF chorus was surprisingly powerful, whilst remaining light-footed, clear and crisp.
In Eternal Source of Light Divine and the Utrecht Te Deum the difference in style of the two composers was noticeable, but both pieces were nevertheless delivered with the same panache and lightness of touch.
This was an uplifting finale to the 2014 edition of the increasingly successful Brighton Early Music Festival.’
John led a very successful day workshop for the North West Early Music Forum in Didsbury on 14 May 2014, exploring Scarlatti’s wonderful 10-part Stabat Mater. Mark Flinn, chair of NWEMF, said ‘John Hancorn led an outstanding day of music making when we studied and performed Scarlatti’s amazing ten-part Stabat Mater. John’s love for the piece, his musicianship and his talent for getting the best out of a group of singers ensured a most successful and enjoyable day. We’re inviting him back next year’
John conducted the East Sussex Bach Choir in an all-Mozart programme featuring bass Sir John Tomlinson on 31 May 2014 at Lewes Town Hall. The concert was a joint celebration: both John and Baroque Collective leader Alison Bury turned 60 this year.