The Bollington Festival Choir has had several polls of members to suggest music they would like to sing, and the Brahms Requiem is always on the wishlist. This will be the second time that Donald Judge has conducted the Choir in performances of this glorious work. The first was in the Methodist Church with an enlarged chorus and full orchestra.
It was probably the expense of mounting performances and the of finding large enough venues that persuaded Brahms to arrange his orchestral score for piano duet. This allows more intimate performances in smaller spaces, that are no less authentic and no less powerful. Brahms was an agnostic, and took texts from the Bible in preference to the more familiar Latin texts used by Mozart, Fauré and Verdi. These include the beautiful central movement How lovely are Thy dwellings.
The Choir will be singing the work in English. Olwyn Bloor and Steve Thorpe will sing the solos that add colour and a personal touch to this deeply felt and deeply emotional work. We make full use of the Arts Centre’s lovely Feurich piano, supplied and maintained by Shackleford Pianos by way of sponsorship.
The concert opens with our accompanists Rosalind Hall and James Pelham, performing possibly the greatest piece ever written for piano duet – Schubert’s Fantasia in F minor. Brahms was born five years after Schubert’s untimely death, but he carried on the daunting tradition of both dazzling piano music and German lieder – songs of which Schubert wrote more than 600.
Baritone Mike Bell, who has thrilled Arts centre audiences with his performances of Schubert’s Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin, will sing a selection of solo songs by Brahms. Any singers who are not members of the Choir who attend the Brahms Requiem Public Singing Day on March 14th can take part in return for a small subscrition and attendance at Tuesday evening rehearsals. The concert is the final one of the 2019-2020 season which has seen perfomances of a wide range of music spanning five centuries, and our 2020-2021 season will be announced at this concert.
Tickets £10 (£3 18s and under) 01625 575554.
Why not visit Bollington Festival Choir’s website.