Eastbourne choir prepares for new season with two iconic requiems

As the new term approaches, Phoenix Choir is preparing for the start of a new season which will include performances of two best–loved and contrasting requiems from Fauré and Mozart.

Mozart’s requiem is widely regarded as a choral masterpiece and the finest of its time but it also paved the way for a shift in how the genre was approached. Famously the requiem was shrouded in mystery – it was an anonymous commission from a ‘grey stranger’ who visited Mozart’s home after dark one night and paid for up front for the composition. Mozart was gravely ill at the time and died, leaving a sizeable portion of the requiem still to write. Much mythology grew around who exactly had finished the requiem and how. Mozart was eventually credited with masterminding the piece and it soon became popular as a concert piece suitable for the memorials of the great and the good, including Beethoven and Napoleon. It has held an place in history ever since.

Composed some 100 years later, Fauré’s Requiem is unlike many in that he was seen as somewhat of a religious ‘sceptic’ and so the tone is quite different to those written by his contemporaries. Fauré himself said that he wanted to write something different which reflected how he viewed death - “a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.” The Fauré will be an extra performance – a special concert on November 11 itself to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Singers from across Eastbourne and surrounding areas are warmly welcomed to join Phoenix for this special concert. Details for the Fauré rehearsals can be found on the website.

The choir will be starting rehearsals for Mozart’s Requiem on Wednesday September 5 at 7.30pm in All Saints’ Church Hall, Grange Road. Whether the Requiem is new to you or an old favourite, the choir extends a warm invitation and is pleased to welcome new members. The choir is particularly looking to recruit tenors and basses. For more details and enquiries please visit the website – www.phoenixchoir-eastbourne.co.uk or phone Fiona Evans (Chair) on 01323 506921.

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