Hear one of the great masterpieces of Western music and a core piece of the choral repertoire, whose power to move and shake remains undiminished.
Verdi’s Requiem – despite being initially described as an ‘opera in church clothing’ and dividing the critics, quickly established its place on the concert programme.
From the hushed opening to the terrifying cries of the ‘Dies irae’ to the final plea for deliverance, Verdi put a lifetime of artistic experience to the service of what he wanted to say. He had seen the formative events of the formation of modern Italy at first hand and his music had come to symbolise and inspire Italian nationalism.
For him, the Requiem was a human drama as much as a religious one. However, here the protagonists are not stage characters battling each other or fate, but real people – the performers themselves, soloists, chorus and orchestra – responding to the ‘four last things’ of Catholic teaching: death, judgement, heaven and hell.
Philharmonia Orchestra Ivor Setterfieldconductor Anna Patalongsoprano Marta Fontanals-Simmonsmezzo-soprano David Butt Philiptenor Ashley Richesbaritone Barts Choir