Colwall Requiem for Aleppo - Liz Johnson's multidimensional choral work raising awareness of the plight of refugees. For SATB (with SSATB solos) accompanied by piano and organ, solo viola, junior choir with chimes, and young instrumentalists.

Colwall Requiem for Aleppo

Commissioned by the amateur church choir of St James the Great, Colwall, Colwall Requiem for Aleppo is an hour-long work for choir with organ and piano (alternately), plus children's choir accompanied by the children themselves on hand chimes and bells. The first performance was on Sunday 2nd April conducted by Peter Johnson.

                                        

The solo viola threads through the work with music drawn from the Arabic tradition, using archive material from the David Fanshawe collection of field recordings from the Middle East in the 1960s. 


Violist Adam Römer worked closely with composer Liz Johnson to develop the music for the viola, which will soon be arranged as a solo work for viola 'Credo' being premiered by Adam on Friday 29th September at Elmslie House, Malvern

 

Young musicians from local schools were involved in the performance. Students from John Masefield High School, Ledbury and St Mary's RC High School, Hereford worked with Liz in 5 creative sessions to compose their own responses to the destruction of Aleppo and the Requiem. Their two pieces were: 'Anger' and 'The Fluttering of Doves'.

Children from Colwall C of E Primary School Choir also took part, singing two movements of the Requiem. They composed their own accompaniment to the music using hand chimes and bells bought as part of the project for the school. Thanks to the S and D Lloyd Charity for funding this part of the project. 

'It was a stunning and moving act of worship with a full-to-capacity church...Those present were clearly gripped by all they heard, the stillness in the church was tangible... We experienced a diverse harmony of musical forms going beyond the traditional Latin requiem, to haunting viola...to gospel, to folk... Few people can have gone away without felling their hearts had been touched and some form of connection made to their fellow Syrian humankind.' Ian Baker in 'The Colwall Clock' Magazine May2017 Vol.36 No5

A retiring collection raised over £2800 (before Giftaid) for Christian Aid Refugee Crisis Appeal.