Verdi: Requiem

THE SOCIETY'S 75TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
VERDI: REQUIEM
Saturday 14 May 2022, 7.30pm
Chester Cathedral

 

 

Linda Richardson soprano
Yvonne Howard mezzo soprano
John Pierce tenor
James Cleverton bass

Chester Music Society choir
Graham Jordan Ellis conductor
Liverpool Sinfonia

In 1873 the Italian poet, novelist and national hero Alessandro Manzoni died. Verdi had been a lifelong admirer and decided to write a Requiem in his memory. Though it is Verdi’s only large-scale work not intended for the stage, the Requiem is unashamedly theatrical in style, with passages of great tenderness and simplicity contrasting with intensely dramatic sections. The eminent conductor and pianist Hans von Bülow aptly described it as ‘Verdi’s latest opera, in church vestments’   The first performance of the Messa di Requiem was a successful performance although the restrained circumstances and prohibition against applause produced a somewhat muted reaction. In contrast, the second performance three days later, at La Scala Opera House, was received by the capacity crowd with tumultuous enthusiasm. The Requiem became an overnight sensation, and was equally ecstatically received at the many European performances that soon followed. Its British premiere took place in May 1875 at the Albert Hall, conducted by Verdi himself, with a chorus of over 1000 and an orchestra of 140.  Few choral works have captured the public imagination in the way that Verdi’s Requiem has. The uncomplicated directness of his style, his soaring, lyrical melodies which lie perfectly for the human voice, the scintillating orchestration and, most significantly, the work’s extraordinary dramatic and emotional intensity, all contribute to the Requiem’s status as one of the great icons of Western music. Last performed by Chester Music Society in 2010, this presents a rare occasion to hear this magnificent work in the thrilling acoustic of Chester cathedral

Tickets: £10, £15 & £20