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Verdi’s Requiem for choral group

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

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FOR the second concert in their 40th anniversary season, The Derbyshire Singers are performing Verdi’s Requiem.

For this special performance, The Derbyshire Singers will be joined by Lewisham Choral Society, one of London’s leading choral societies, internationally renowned soloists and an extensive professional orchestra.

A spokesman for the group said: “The Requiem is considered to be Verdi’s greatest composition, using vigorous rhythms, sublime melodies, moments of lyrical hushed restraint and terrifying thunderclap-like drums of the Dies Irae to create a work of electrifying intensity and dramatic contrasts, reflecting the powerful emotions in the text.

“The soaring melodies which lie perfectly for the human voice, the scintillating orchestration and the work’s extraordinary dramatic and emotional intensity all contribute to the Requiem’s status as one of the greatest works of western music.”

Derbyshire Singers was originally created by Gertrude Beresford, the choral adviser to the education committee in the 1950s, at which time their music was very popular.

Her ambition was to bring the joy of choral music and singing into the lives of a wartime population that had enjoyed little entertainment. However, by the 1960s times and tastes were changing, Gertrude had passed away and the choir was disbanded.

It was in 1973 that Joseph Clark, then head of music at Matlock’s Ernest Bailey grammar school, decided to re-form the choir.

His original intention was to form a small chamber choir, but it just kept on growing and became a choir of some 80 plus members as it remains to this day.

Over the years through the hard work and dedication of Joseph and Lynne Clark, the group’s choral director and principal conductor, together with an enthusiastic committee and singers has the choir been given opportunities to work with much respected musicians and composers such as John Rutter, Paul Patterson, David Fanshawe, Nigel Perrin and Laszlo Heltay.

The concert takes place at 7.30pm in the sports hall at Highfields School, Matlock on Saturday, April 12.

Tickets cost £15, with concessions £13, and are available from Natural Choice, in St John Street or online at www.derbyshiresingers.org

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