Berlioz - Grande Messe des Morts
Marking the 150th anniversary of the death of the great French composer, Hector Berlioz (1803-69), the Northampton Bach Choir begin their next series of concerts with his magnum opus, the Grande Messe des Morts.
If you thought Verdi's Requiem had fireworks, you've not heard anything yet! Expect an huge operatic tenor soloist, massive choruses, orchestra, and no fewer than four brass ensembles and sixteen timpani.
In 1837, the Minister of the Interior of France asked Berlioz to compose a Requiem Mass to remember soldiers who died in the 1830 Revolution. Berlioz accepted, and later wrote, "... if I were threatened with the destruction of the whole of my works save one, I should crave mercy for the Grande Messe des morts."
This will be the first performance of our Musical Director's re-orchestration of the work, which keeps the dramatic offstage brass and timpani, but distills the main orchestral parts (Berlioz imagined a chorus of 700 to 800 singers!).
We are delighted to be joined again by Orchestra da Camera, and welcome for the first time Ben Thapa who sings the remarkable tenor solo. The offstage brass have been arranged for the standard line up of the British Brass Band, separated into four groups - one in each corner of the building - and will be performed by Rushden Town Band (directed by Adele Hudson).
St Matthew's Church, Northampton, NN1 4RY
Northampton, England, UK