Choir takes on a German classic in latest Cathedral showpiece - The Worcester Observer

Choir takes on a German classic in latest Cathedral showpiece

Worcester Editorial 29th Oct, 2023   0

THE REGION’S leading large classical choir, Worcester Festival Choral Society, will perform Brahms’s much-loved choral masterwork Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) in Worcester Cathedral.

Featuring almost 200 performers, the major concert on November 25 includes 140 singers, a symphony orchestra and acclaimed soloists whose credits include the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House. Deeply moving Ein Deutsches Requiem, inspired by the death of Brahms’s mother, has become one of the greatest monuments of choral music.

Highlights include the tender ‘Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen’ (‘How lovely are thy dwellings’), and the spine-chilling ‘Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras’ (‘For all flesh, is as grass’), of BBC war documentary fame.

The evening’s soloists are soprano Rebecca Hardwick, who sings internationally in concerts, operas and ensembles including the Monteverdi Choir; and award-winning baritone Julien Van Mellaerts, who performs in operas and recitals worldwide and represented New Zealand in Cardiff Singer of the World 2019.

Opening the concert, the Meridian Sinfonia will present another Romantic-era favourite, Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. Written as a Christmas gift for his wife, the composition is perhaps the composer’s most popular orchestral work.

Susan White, chairman of Worcester Festival Choral Society, said: “We’re thrilled to open our concert season with these stunning works. Hearing this quality of music performed live, on this scale, in the Cathedral’s majestic surroundings, makes an unforgettable experience.”

Worcester Festival Choral Society has brought the choral greats to Worcester since 1861 and was often conducted by Sir Edward Elgar in its early days.

Many of its singers also form a key part of the renowned Three Choirs Festival Chorus each summer. The choir is trained and conducted by Worcester Cathedral’s director of music, Samuel Hudson.

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