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from the Reading Chronicle, December 2003

.... made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. What a sound!
Guildford Cathedral

HECTOR Berlioz, celebrating his 200th anniversary this month, wrote this Requiem in 1837 and it was first performed in Paris in December of that year. This performance by the Wokingham Choral Society, the Windsor and Eton Choral Society, the Eton Festival Orchestra and Brass, with Tenor Soloist Huw Rhys-Evans and conducted by Aidan Oliver, was performed to a near capacity audience.

 

With the excellent accoustics of the cathedral and with the glorious orchestral and brass accompaniment, the 250 voices of the massed choirs bringing out all the drama of the work made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. What a sound!  The Requiem and Kyrie was haunting, the Dies irae was stirring and the unaccompanied Quaerens me was particularly lovely.

 

The Offertoire was superb, the Hostias was indeed very atmospheric and the Sanctus which followed was excellent, with a stunning tenor solo. The whole piece brought to a most dramatic end with the Agnus Dei. A most enjoyable evening's entertainment.

 Tandem