Colston Hall concert will be both big and beautiful
By scchoir | Thursday, March 29, 2012, 11:28
More than 400 performers will come together to perform two great French choral masterpieces - Berlioz Te Deum and Fauré Requiem - at the Colston Hall, Bristol on Saturday 31 March at 7.30pm.
Bristol Choral Society on stage at the Colston Hall. Saturday's concert will feature around double the number pictured here.
Faure Requiem and Berlioz Te Deum Bristol 31 March
Bristol Choral Society joins forces with Gloucester Choral Society and the choristers of Bristol and Gloucester Cathedral choirs to make up the chorus of around 350 singers who will be joined by almost 100 players of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (including four harps) for the concert which will feature soloists Paul Charles Clarke (tenor), Hannah Atherton (soprano), Richard Walshe (bass) and be conducted by Adrian Partington.
Adrian says 'these two works really are at opposite ends of the spectrum: Fauré's Requiem is the most intimate and delicate of works, and the Berlioz Te Deum truly monumental.
We will have a very large number of singers for this performance - so many in fact that they will be spilling over from the stage into the balconies of the auditorium, surrounding much of the audience - but I have taken enormous care in preparing this performance to ensure the experience of both will be just right. My aim is to draw the audience in to the very intimate Fauré, almost enveloping them inside it, before 'knocking their socks off' with a no holds barred performance of the Berlioz.
Berlioz is known for writing large-scale works requiring hundreds of performers, and his Te Deum is a prime example of this. The composer wrote of the première "..it was colossal, like a scene out of the Apocalypse...the final movement surpasses all the enormities of which I am guilty up to now".
Live performances of the Berlioz Te Deum are something of a rarity simply because of the number of performers required and the complexities and cost of staging such an event with a professional orchestra and soloists. It is at least 25 years since Bristol Choral Society performed this work, and I think I'm right in saying that was its most recent performance in Bristol.
It is certain to be a fantastically thrilling concert and I am immensely looking forward to conducting it. I would urge anyone to come along to experience this very special event - after all, it could be another 25 years before there is another opportunity to do so in Bristol!'
The 31 March concert at Colston Hall, Bristol starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost from £10 - see www.bristolchoral.co.uk, or phone the Colston Hall on 0117 922 3686 for details.