Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Choral Sundays

Large-scale choral works are well suited to the majestic Royal Albert HallLarge-scale choral works are well suited to the majestic Royal Albert Hall

For the first time at the Proms, every Sunday evening is devoted to choral music, beginning with Havergal Brian's gargantuan The Gothic Symphony, which gets its long-awaited first Proms performance (17 July). Completed in 1928, after eight years of labour, it is listed in the Guinness Book of Records under "longest symphony". This Proms performance – the first in the UK since 1980 – brings together the staggeringly large forces of 10 choirs and two orchestras – a total of over 1,000 performers.

The series of Choral Sundays continues with another large-scale work, Verdi's Requiem, with a star-studded cast of soloists (including Marina Poplavskaya and Joseph Calleja) joining conductor Semyon Bychkov, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the combined forces of three choirs (24 July).

Further highlights include the original version of Mahler's fairy-tale cantata Das klagende Lied (7 August), Mozart's Requiem (21 August), and Mendelssohn's Elijah, with the Gabrieli Consort & Players under Paul McCreesh joined by the massed forces of five amateur choirs from Ulster, the North of England and Poland (28 August). The Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, joins the BBC Philharmonic for an all-Rachmaninov programme featuring his evocative choral symphony The Bells (31 July), and Britten's Spring Symphony features in a recreation of a Prom conducted by the composer in 1963 (14 August). Sir Colin Davis rounds off the series with Beethoven's Missa solemnis (4 September).

BBC Four broadcasts Verdi's Requiem and Beethoven's Missa solemnis.

Each Choral Sunday Prom is preceded by a Proms Plus Sing event in which the public is invited to join a leading choirmaster to sing part of the repertoire featured in the evening's Prom. The Proms Plus Sing events are followed by Proms Plus Intros, conversations with conductors and other experts at the Royal College of Music. This series of eight Proms Plus Intros will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 (see Proms Plus for more details).

Albert Hall illustration

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