Emsworth-based Renaissance Choir offer Mozart's Requiem

Renaissance Choir (contributed pic)
Renaissance Choir (contributed pic)

They will be performing it on October 28 in St Peter's Church, The Square, GU32 3HS at 7.30pm.

Spokesman Simon O’Hea said: “A shadowy figure, dressed all in grey, is said to have knocked on Mozart’s front door in the dead of night. Through the gloom, the figure told the composer that he must compose a Requiem. Mozart believed the figure to represent the grim reaper and, indeed, he was soon to die a mysterious death. His Requiem is one of the finest pieces of classical music ever written. Most of it was penned on his deathbed, so it’s not surprising that it’s full of anguish and of pain, but it’s also full of hope. We intend to capture all emotions of this work, written by a young man nearing his death and knowing it. It is a dark work in parts, bursting with fury, undoubtedly Mozart’s most powerful music.”

The Requiem sits in contrast to Haydn's uplifting Te Deum in C Major, and is complemented by one of William Byrd’s greatest choral pieces, his Mass for Five Voices. The Te Deum in C major, written about 1799 for Maria Theresa, wife of Franz I of Austria, unusually has no solo parts. Its structure is a bright Allegro followed by a short, mysterious C minor Adagio section by way of contrast and then another bright Allegro to finish.

“Throughout the Mass, the choir makes considerable use of soloists and small groups in order to preserve its unique chamber-music quality, chosen by Byrd in order to protect those celebrating the forbidden Roman rite from discovery.”

Adults tickets are £15, and under-25s pay £2 via, from One Tree Books in Petersfield or on the door.

Simon added: “We’re a group of around 34 singers from West Sussex and Hampshire who enjoy the challenge and fun of singing a cappella though some of our singing is accompanied. We also like to split our singers into separate choirs so to achieve additional effects. Although our charitable aim is to keep Renaissance music alive and accessible, and our favourite choral music is Renaissance polyphony, we perform works from all eras.”