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One of world's greatest sopranos set to perform Bach masterpiece in cathedral

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: July 28, 2011

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World-renowned soprano Dame Emma Kirkby joins Somerset Chamber Choir for a performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor at Wells Cathedral on Saturday at 7pm.

Dame Emma is internationally recognised as one of the foremost performers of Baroque music – she has made more than 100 recordings – and in 2007 was named as number 10 in a survey of the 100 greatest sopranos by BBC Music Magazine.

This year, she was presented with the Queen's Medal for Music.

Despite all her recording activity, Emma enjoys nothing more than performing favourite repertoire in concert with colleagues.

This will be Emma's fifth appearance with the choir, and the first since she became a Patron of the choir following her performance at their sell-out 25th anniversary concert in Wells two years ago.

She will join a cast of impressive young soloists, all with reputations as insightful and stylish performers of Baroque music – countertenor Tim Mead, tenor Andrew Tortise and bass Samuel Evans.

Accompanying them will be the accomplished Baroque orchestra Canzona under conductor Graham Caldbeck for this performance of a work which is considered by many to be one of the greatest pieces of choral music ever written.

Bach's B minor Mass is unequalled in the world of choral music – no other work combines such grand choruses, intimate solo arias and duets and moments of pure spine-tingling harmonic changes to such awe-inspiring effect as this work. Despite being perhaps the most profound setting of the Mass, so much of the music cannot help but create a feeling of joy – the most glorious Gloria ever written, complete with sparkling trumpets, the wonderfully sumptuous Sanctus, the amazing emergence of Et Resurrexit from the preceding sublime Crucifixus to name a few of the musical treasures to be found in this masterpiece.

With this combination of magnificent music and renowned artists, the concert has proved to be extremely popular, but tickets priced £10 are still available from Wells Cathedral Shop or online at www.somersetchamberchoir.org.uk.

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