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Brahms Violin Concerto, Messiaen O Sacrum Convivium, Fauré Requiem.

Ludovic Morlot conductor, James Ehnes violin, Rhian Lois soprano, Neal Davies baritone, BBC National Chorus of Wales.

Brahms’ gloriously lyrical Violin Concerto seems to express the very soul of the violin. From its soaring, dreamy and majestic melodies to the boisterous lilt of the finale, its uncompromising demand for virtuoso playing makes it the perfect showcase for any violinist. With a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Canadian violinist James Ehnes takes centre stage as soloist for this much-loved work.

Much of Messiaen’s music has a religious context, so it may be surprising to know that he only ever wrote one piece of vocal music specifically for the church, his O Sacrum Convivium. With a fervently devotional quality, this fiendishly tricky piece is hushed and reverent, rising to an expressive peak as the text talks of future glory. In contrast, Faure’s Requiem needs little introduction – More intimate in nature than its equally popular counterparts by Verdi and Berlioz, Faure’s Requiem is gentle and comforting, dominated by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest. Truly spellbinding…

11 Feb 2023