County chorus tuning up for an Abbey outing

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Members of the Hertfordshire Chorus are putting the finishing touches to a showpiece performance at St Albans Abbey which has real appeal for fans of choral music.

On the programme for the recital on the evening of Saturday, February 9 are Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor and Mendelssohn’s rousing Die Erste Walpurgisnacht.

The Mozart work, which like the famous Requiem was never completed, is considered by many scholars to be one of the greatest mass settings of all time.

Fans say this soaring work is a real treat for music lovers, and the atmospheric Abbey is the perfect setting.

The Mendelssohn piece, acknowledged as a masterpiece of romanticism, has been described as a sort of musical Midsummer Night’s Dream which tells a story of Druid pagan rituals in the Harz mountains.

The concert, from 7:30pm, features the talents of soprano Sophie Bevan, mezzo Emilie Renard, tenor Andrew Staples and bass Derek Welton and the London Orchestra da Camera conducted by David Temple.

The Hertfordshire Chorus, which was first formed in 1970, is one of the leading large choirs in England with more than 130 members from across the county and further afield.

They are regular performers at Abbey musical showcases, but their busy schedule also includes concerts in London, radio broadcasts and festival appearances.

But they don’t limit themselves to classical works – the chorus and conductor David Temple appeared with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds during last year’s UK and Ireland and David conducted the choral tracks on the former Oasis leader’s solo album.

Tickets are priced from £15 to £25, but there are restricted view seats on offer at £7.50 and £5 concessions.

To find out more call 0870 4580445 or visit