Choral society members ready to deliver extraordinary piece of work

Burgess Hil Choral Society
Burgess Hil Choral Society

In its spring concert Burgess Hill Choral Society will be singing the great Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi under the musical direction of Michael Stefan Wood.

The piece was written in honour of two people the composer greatly admired.

Spokeswoman Frances Eales said: “Apparently Verdi was greatly moved when he heard of the death of his compatriot, the celebrated composer Rossini. Verdi called him ‘one of the glories of Italy’ and had the idea of working together with 12other composers to write a Requiem in Rossini’s honour.

“This project didn’t work out, but when Verdi’s other personal hero, the poet, humanitarian and nationalist Alessandro Manzoni died five years later in 1873, Verdi revived his idea of a Requiem and included in it material he’d already written for Rossini.

“The result is the extraordinary Requiem we know today. It’s a work of huge emotion and drama and is often described as the best opera Verdi never wrote. It’s as compelling as anything Verdi ever put on the stage and has a real range of musical contrasts.

“There’s the truly terrifying Dies Irae with its thunderclap of drums, then there’s the majestic trumpet summons in the Tuba mirum. And it also has some beautifully poignant quieter passages.”

The concert is on Saturday, April 26, at 7.30pm, at St Andrew’s Church, Junction Road, Burgess Hill. Tickets are available from choir members, 01444 239535, Burgess Hill Town Council’s Help Point, or at the door. Accompanied under-16s are free.

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