June 2006 Chester Music Society Choir visits Dresden.

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At the beginning of June 2006 50 singers plus friends and partners spent five days in eastern Germany. Based in Dresden, the tour took in trips to Leipzig and the porcelain town of Meissen.

The first concert was held in the Church of the Holy Spirit in Dresden-Blasewitz, followed the next evening at the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in the attractive town of Grimma just outside Leipzig. The final concert of the tour took place in the historic Frauenkirche in the centre of the delightful ancient town of Meissen, home of the famous and eponymous porcelain. Singing in English, Latin, German and French, the choir brought a truly international repertoire on tour, albeit with - as is only proper - a German bias.

Works Performed on the Tour included:

Missa Sancti Joannis de Deo (Little Organ Mass) - Haydn

Give Unto the Lord - Elgar

O Jesu Christ, Meins Lebens Licht - Bach

Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen - Brahms

Psalm 100 - Schutz

The Lamb - John Taverner

Cantique de Jean Racine Fauré

Zadok the Priest - Handel

Conductor: Graham Jordan Ellis

Organist: Simon Russell

Following the terrible destruction of 1945, and after almost 50 years of neglect under the East German regime, it was heartening to see that much of the old city of Dresden has been restored to its former glory. The Old Town is now virtually rebuilt - including especially the glorious baroque Frauenkirche in the heart of old Dresden which was only completed in 2005.

Leipzig too is showing renewed signs of prosperity; for many of the party a visit to St. Thomas Church, where Johann Sebastian Bach was Cantor for more than a quarter-century and is now buried, was another highlight of the tour.

Once again the choir was indebted to Graham Jordan Ellis, their conductor, for his musical direction, and Simon Russell who provided the accompaniment.