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David Bednall's Requiem
On Friday 14th November, the Chamber Choir undertook their most ambitious project to date, with the World Premiere of their specially commissioned Requiem.
The hour-long piece by David Bednall has been pieced together over the past year, beginning with the premiere of three of the movements in Notre-Dame de Paris in January. And then on Friday, in the magnificent setting of St James’ Church, Spanish Place in London, the piece was performed as a whole for the first time – 11 movements for upper voices, viola and organ. David Bednall himself played the organ, and the girls were accompanied on the viola by Philip Dukes, described by The Times as ‘Britain’s greatest viola player.’
A capacity audience of parents, family, friends and Londoners gave the concert a rapturous reception, and the experience was exhilarating for every one of the performers.
The response since Friday has been equally rewarding, with the girls’ singing described as ‘magnificent’ by Philip Dukes, ‘awesome’ by the composer, and in various letters and emails as ‘wonderful’, ‘brilliant’, ‘exceptional’, ‘extremely memorable’, ‘fantastic’ and ‘incredibly thrilling!’.
Enormous credit is due to the girls for their unstinting commitment to the project, and they are eagerly looking forward to recording the work in January, to taking it on tour to America in March, and to giving the second UK performance in Oxford on Saturday 9th May.