Brecon Cathedral will host a concert of contrasts on Saturday November, 18 at 7.30pm.
Crickhowell Choral Society and Brecknock Sinfonia will come together to perform two of the greatest choral works of the 19th century; Brahms’ poignant and personal A German Requiem (Ein Deutches Requiem - since it will be sung in German) contrasted with the extrovert and celebratory style of Dvořák’s Te Deum. Another contrast is that unlike the Brahms, Dvořák’s Te Deum is seldom performed in Wales, or indeed anywhere in the UK - something that will leave you scratching your head once you’ve heard it.
The icing on the cake is the return of two of the Choral Society’s very first choral scholars to perform as soloists. Lowri Probert and Tomos Owen Jones are making names for themselves on the professional music scene and for them to return to such a special venue and occasion is a genuine delight.
Brahms’ Requiem is a much loved work believed to be a memorial to the tragic early death of his friend and mentor, Robert Schumann, and written after the passing of his mother in 1865. It is poignant, personal, and deeply moving with glimpses of the sadness and even anger he must have felt. You’ve been warned - bring a hanky.
Brahms was a great champion of the much younger Czech composer, Dvořák, the innkeeper’s son who rose to international fame, becoming the director of the national conservatory in New York in 1892. To celebrate his arrival, and the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America, he chose to set the great hymn of thanksgiving - the Te Deum. The work is one of his finest and most original with an earthiness not often associated with sacred music. He loved nature and this is reflected in the folksong-inspired tunes and rhythms which contrast with some of the beautiful solo spots more influenced by Italian opera.