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Anglo-German chorus rouses the angels

Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem, Coventry Cathedral, April 7.

Coventry Cathedral's magnificent West Screen of Saints and Angels came close to rattling when an orchestra and 103-voice choir combined.

The screen - along with the colourful Baptistry window - provided the perfect setting for the music of the Spires Philharmonic and its companion chorus, both founded in Coventry by conductor Colin Touchin, who returned from his latest assignment in Germany to swell his choir with members of the Lufthansa Konzertchor Frankfurt.

An audience of 400 sat in chairs facing the screen as Colin first conducted Dvorak's Symphony No. 6 in D major before introducing his augmented choir to make a glorious combined bid to raise the roof and rouse all those engraved angels who each holds an instrument of their own.

The acoustics are never the best in the Cathedral but the choir and orchestra certainly did their utmost to overcome this with their truly inspiring requiem which could perhaps also pay homage to the great screen's creator, John Hutton, whose ashes are buried beneath it.

In the spirit of peace and reconciliation and marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, Coventry Lord Mayor Tony Skipper was joined by the Honorary German Consul, Kirinjeet Kaur Kalsi and the Cathedral's Rev Canon Kathryn Fleming who reminded everyone of the links between the two countries which have grown stronger over the years.

At the end of the concert the audience offered a standing ovation to all the musicians who in the next few days will travel to Frankfurt to repeat their performance.

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