Verdi's Requiem calls for outstanding soloists, a highly engaged choir, and some tremendous orchestral playing. All three elements are on the cards when Edward Gardner conducts the work with the Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, American tenor René Barbera and Russian bass Alexander Vinogradov.
While the work is famous of its clamorous brass and thunderous Dies Irae, it also contains moments of great intimacy and tenderness, and demands that its soloists as well as commanding the stage also sing in reverent whispers and as a close-knit ensemble. Done well, it is one of the most compelling works in the repertoire.
Gardner conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra and the chorus work which, like that of the soloists and players varies in mood – now fearful, now confident, now confessional – is sung by the Rodolfus Choir and Philharmonia Voices.
The Requiem, which takes the text of the traditional Latin requiem mass, was written for Verdi's friend the writer Alessandro Manzoni, and first performed in 1874. It has been sung all over the world ever since, and has been staged in operatic form from time to time. It is in seven movements, some with several sections.
The American soprano Tamara Wilson, talking about her role in the recent Proms performance, described the Requiem as the most operatic of Verdi's works - including the "real" operas.
|What||Verdi Requiem, Royal Festival Hall|
Royal Festival Hall
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
On 03 Nov 16, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
|Price||£11 - £55|
|Website||Click here for further information and booking|