24.11.12 7.30pm, Colston Hall, Bristol; £23, £19, £15, £12, £10 (under 25s £5, concessions available)
Brahms – Ein Deutsches Requiem
Brahms – Tragic Overture
Bristol Choral Society
New Bristol Sinfonia
Hye-Youn Lee (soprano)
Njabulo Madlala (baritone)
Adrian Partington (conductor)
An all-Brahms programme to stir and salve:
The opening words of the Requiem Brahms finally completed in the wake of his mother’s death could almost serve as its motto: ‘Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted’. Rather than a Latin ‘Mass for the Dead’ it’s a meditation on death for the living, suffused with almost unbearable longing compounded by hope and despair, sweetness and grief, intimacy and grandeur.
Schumann’s widow Clara described it as ‘an immense work that takes hold of a person’s whole being like very little else’. Joining the choir are the young Korean soprano Hye-Youn Lee fresh from Parsifal in Paris and Puccini in Finland, and Njabulo Madlala, winner of the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Competition – where The Times savoured ‘the rich velvety plush of his fearless voice, its inner warmth and its flexibility’.