19th of November, 2017
A rare performance of Duruflé’s much-loved choral Requiem with both orchestral and organ accompaniment, together with one of the first public performances of Dove's For An Unknown Soldier - attended by the composer himself - attracted around 350 people to a moving remembrance-themed concert at Worcester Cathedral on Saturday 18 November.
Duruflé’s Requiem - performed by the 150 voices of Worcester Festival Choral Society together with the Worcester Cathedral Girl Choristers and the Meridian Sinfonia - is usually heard with organ only, but the Society’s concert was a chance to hear the Requiem with the full splendour of the French composer’s combined orchestral and organ scoring. Ben Cooper, Chairman of Worcester Festival Choral Society, said: “Duruflé’s 1947 Requiem is exquisite and widely considered as a wonder of the choral world, combining ancient Gregorian plainchants with rich, more modern harmonies. Performing it with not only the Choristers, but also an outstanding orchestra and organ within the magnificent Cathedral acoustics, made this an especially memorable experience.”
The November concert also featured what was only the fifth public performance of British composer Jonathan Dove’s 2014 choral work, For An Unknown Soldier. The composer himself attended the concert (pictured centre, with (L) conductor Peter Nardone and (R) tenor Tom Robson). Written as an evocative cantata of remembrance to mark the centenary of the First World War, the music features poems by First World War poets such as Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg and Harold Monro to vividly tell the story of one soldier’s journey through the war. Singing For An Unknown Soldier with Worcester Festival Choral Society – many of whose members perform in the annual Three Choirs Festival chorus – were internationally acclaimed Tenor Tom Robson, and Worcester Cathedral’s Boy and Girl Choristers.
The Meridian Sinfonia performed as a 51-piece orchestra for the concert. Worcester Cathedral’s Director of Music, Dr Peter Nardone, conducted.
Concert tickets are £10 - £25 (some concessions available) from www.worcesterfestivalchoralsociety.org.uk and the Worcester Live Box Office, Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, tel: 01905 611427.
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