At the opposite end of the choral spectrum from the intimate Renaissance a cappella that we sing at PDtP is Berlioz’s gigantic Grande Messe des morts (aka Requiem).*
It’s gloriously over-the-top but has many, many first class moments of music and is well worth hearing when you get the chance, which is not so often, given that it calls for massed voices accompanied by a huge orchestra, including a vastly expanded percussion section (multiple timps, cymbals and tam-tams) and an extra 4 (count ’em, 4) brass ensembles, positioned at separate points around the main orchestra – or sometimes even around the concert hall itself.
Our friends the Goldsmiths Choral Union are performing this titanic work next Monday (November 30th) at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside the Brighton Festival Chorus and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Brian Wright.
For a limited time you can get top and second price tickets at a hugely discounted rate via this Time Out offer – but you’ll have to hurry as it expires at midnight tomorrow (November 27th).
And don’t forget, once you have calmed down from the experience of super-sized French Romanticism, you can join us at our final PDtP of the year on December 14th, which will include lots of seasonal goodies – so sign up here.
*Interestingly, one of the movements of the Requiem is actually a cappella, though you’d perhaps struggle to describe anything sung by hundreds of voices in a huge Victorian concert hall as intimate.