John Quinn was full of praise in his review of the combined Chamber Choir & St Cecilia Singers performance of Ian Venables’ Requiem in Great Malvern Priory as part of the 2023 Elgar Festival.
He believes this work to be “one of the most significant recent English choral compositions and a work of great emotional depth”. He goes on to say, “I admired the performance very much. I thought Stephen Shellard conducted the score with evident belief – which he communicated to the performers – and with great understanding.”
You can read the full review of the whole concert here.
The underlying text of Brahms German Requiem is widely considered to be a tribute to his late mother and a comfort to the grieving. It cannot be a coincidence that he began it in the year of his mother’s death.
Composed between 1865 and 1868 the Requiem is a sacred, non-liturgical piece consisting of 7 movements lasting between 65 and 80 minutes. Making it Brahms longest composition. Originally conceived as 6 movements (1-4, 6, 7 of the final work) Brahms had completed movements 1, 2 and 4 by April 1865 The second movement was a reworking of material written in 1854 after the mental collapse and attempted suicide of his friend and mentor Robert Schumann.
By August 1st 1866 Brahms has completed all but the 5th movement. The first 3 movements were performed on December 1st 1867 in Vienna. This performance was, to say the least, poorly received due to the timpanist’s misinterpretation of the markings (pf played as f or ff) effectively drowing the choral fugue section of the 3rd movement.
The first performance of the complete 6 movement work was conducted by Brahms on Good Friday, 10th April 1868, in Bremen Cathedral. In May 1868 Brahms composed an additional movement, which became the 5th movement in the final work, for Soprano solo and chorus. This movement is most readily associated with the death of his mother, the words relating to the sadness of loss and comfort.
The final, 7 movement, version was premiered in Leipzig on the 18th February 1868. This performance proved to be a major turning point in Brahms career.
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behaviour or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.