22 April 2017 at 7.30pm
Brahms Requiem (London version)
Take him, earth, for cherishing: Howells
Vier ernste Gesänge: Brahms
Geistliches Lied: Brahms
with Ed Ballard baritone
Anna Markland, Ian Buckle piano
Excalibur Voices are joined by a wonderful piano duo for this performance of Brahms Requiem in the composer's own "London" version. Hearing the music in this way reminds us that Brahms is, above all, a composer of great chamber music. Stripped of a dense orchestration, a small choir and expressive pianists can allow vocal colour and flexible musicianship to come to the fore.
Since winning BBC Young Musician of the year in 1982 Anna Markland has enjoyed a varied and busy musical career combining performing careers as both a singer and a pianist. In a [possible] world first, she will spring from the piano stool for the beautiful soprano solo. She will be complemented by baritone Ed Ballard's "warm tones and superb phrasing".
A short first half comprises more lyrical Brahms, and a substantial a capella work by the English composer Herbert Howells. Take him, earth, for cherishing was written for a memorial service for JFK. Besides a number of intriguing thematic resemblances, Howells shares with Brahms the sense that such a memorial exists not to assist the soul on its journey but to comfort those left behind.
Tickets available here.