Grande Messe des Morts

Surrey Choirs & Orchestras perform Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts.

Grande Messe des MortsWoking’s Epworth Choir and Godalming Choral Society joined forces under the baton of Matthew Willis to perform Hector Berlioz’s masterful Requiem Mass at Guildford Cathedral on Saturday 20th April 2013. The choir of 200 voices was accompanied by Redhill Sinfonia, Woking Symphony Orchestra and four brass groups. The soloist was the acclaimed international operatic tenor, Ben Johnson.

The Performance was dedicated to the memory of Sir Colin Davis who died just a few days before the concert.

Ben JohnsonUndoubtedly the largest and in parts the loudest of all Requiems, this performance raised the roof of the Cathedral and left the near capacity audience breathless, whilst the occasional glimpse of peace prompted music making of the utmost tenderness. Performances of Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts are memorable for the power and sincerity of this interpretation of the sacred word and this occasion was certainly no exception.

Shelagh Godwin, Music Critic for The Surrey Advertiser wrote:

…A challenge well met by the combined voices of the Epworth Choir and Godalming Choral Society’

Ben Johnson provided a lovely tenor solo in the Sanctus, accompanied by the softest of shimmering strings’

The Offertorium….superbly played, ….was beautifully shaped by conductor Matthew Willis.

(Click here for full text of Shelagh Godwin’s Critique, Surrey Advertiser, 26th April 2013)

The Concert supported the vital work of the  Surrey Air Ambulance, a ‘Charity that Saves Lives’. Through the generosity of members of the audience, the Retiring Collection raised the huge sum of £2254 for which the Charity are extremely grateful.