Top County choir brings Brahms to Cathedral

17th of September, 2023

The region’s leading large classical choir, Worcester Festival Choral Society, earned a standing ovation from a near-capacity audience for its thrilling performance of Brahms’s choral masterwork Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) in Worcester Cathedral on Saturday 25 November.

Featuring almost 200 performers, the major concert included 140 singers, a symphony orchestra and two, 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, is one of the greatest monuments of choral music. Opening the concert, the Meridian Sinfonia presented another Romantic-era favourite, Richard Wagner's Siegfried Idyll. The evening’s soloists were acclaimed 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.

A departing collection for the MND Association, in memory of a former WFCS Chorus member who recently lost her brave battle with Motor Neurone Disease, raised an exceptional £569 in audience donations.

Susan White, Chairman of Worcester Festival Choral Society, said: “It was thrilling to open our concert season with such a well-received performance. The audience clearly enjoyed the experience! To raise such a wonderful charity collection afterwards was the icing on the cake.”   

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. 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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