Brahms Requiem and Messiah launch choir's Colston Hall concert season

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By scchoir | Friday, September 14, 2012, 15:26

Bristol Choral Society's 2012-3 concert season under conductor Adrian Partington launches this month, with Brahms in November and two Messiah concerts coming up before Christmas.

The concert season opens with a performance of Brahms' Requiem on Saturday 24 November at the Colston Hall, with the accomplished orchestra New Bristol Sinfonia and soloists the young Korean soprano Hye-Youn Lee and South African baritone Njabulo Madlala - winner of the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, where The Times savoured 'the rich velvety plush of his fearless voice, its inner warmth and its flexibility'.

Brahms specifically chose the text for his unique Requiem to create a work to comfort the living, rather than setting the traditional Latin text of the 'Mass for the dead' complete with its passages about judgement and damnation. The warm message of humanity and consolation in Brahms' work is perhaps summed up best by the very opening words 'Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted', and the theme of a transition from anxiety to comfort recurs throughout his 'German Requiem' (named principally after the language in which it is set, and will be sung in this performance). Brahms himself said he could have gladly named 'A Human Requiem' reflecting that emphasis in this work of such moving words set to such powerful and beautiful music.

There will be a collection in aid of Bristol-based music therapy charity Musicspace. 

After taking a break last year, Handel's Messiah returns to its traditional spot on the Saturday before Christmas at the Colston Hall (22 December) - 120 years and 1 day after the first BCS Messiah at the hall on 21 December 1892. Messiah may be one of the world's (and Bristol's) most performed choral works, but the freshness and vitality of Bristol Choral Society's rendition is renowned - not least as they sing the entire work from memory (believed to be the only choir in the country to do so).

They will once again be joined by the superb Baroque orchestra Music for Awhile.

As always, there will be a retiring collection for the Lord Mayor of Bristol's Christmas Appeal for Children at the Messiah concert. 

Also returning on the same day, the 4.30pm afternoon Mini Messiah family concert preceding the evening's full performance will continue to introduce the youngest generation of Bristol children to more of this traditional masterpiece. With FREE admission for accompanied under 18s, this shortened performance with choir, orchestra and soloists has proved an enormously successful and well-received event and a magical way to start a Bristol family Christmas.

The popular annual Come & Sing day takes place on Saturday 16 February 2013 where all are invited to come along and spend a day exploring a work under conductor Adrian Partington's inspirational baton. This season, the work in question will be Mendelssohn's St Paul - the  work performed by Bristol Choral Society at its first ever concert back in 1889.

The choir's first Colston Hall concert of 2013 has a distinct Italian flavour,  with two magnificent sacred choral works penned by giants of the world of opera - Verdi's Four Sacred Pieces and Rossini's Stabat Mater. Joined by a quartet of distinguished vocal soloists and the renowned English Symphony Orchestra, the concert on Saturday 23 March 2013 promises a tantalising mixture of the exuberance and drama of the Opera House with the spirit of the sacred text in the incomparable atmosphere of the concert hall.

In May 2013, the city's own Bristol Ensemble conclude their epic journey through Beethoven's Symphonies at the Colston Hall. Bristol Choral Society is delighted to join them for his 9th Symphony ('Choral') on Wednesday 8 May.

Concluding the season, the choir stages its annual summer concert at Bristol Cathedral on Saturday 15 June 2013. An all-Vivaldi affair, the concert includes performances of the famous Gloria, Dixit Dominus, and adding a seasonal touch, Summer from the Four Seasons with the Bristol Ensemble and soloist Roger Huckle.

Tickets for the whole season are on sale now - find out more and book online at the choir's website                                             

Concert tickets are also available from the Colston Hall in person or by phone (0117 922 3686)

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