English requiem for All Souls’ Day

A Time To Remember: David Halls’ English requiem to be sung on All Souls’ Day in Salisbury Cathedral.

A requiem written by Salisbury Cathedral’s director of music David Halls is to be sung during the 5.30pm Eucharist on All Souls’ Day (Wednesday, 2nd November), the day on which the church traditionally remembers the faithful departed.
The English Requiem was originally premiered in concert at Salisbury Cathedral in 2017, but David was always keen for the work to be sung in English as part of the Liturgy, or regular Cathedral worship. Deliberately intimate, it is a reflection on personal loss and the Cathedral’s close knit community, where life and death are marked by music.

The girls and men of the choir will sing David Halls’ English Requiem, photo Finnbarr Webster

The girls and men of the choir will sing David Halls’ English Requiem, photo Finnbarr Webster

David Halls said: “Deciding to have the Requiem sung in English is not an unusual decision – both Howells and Walford Davies did the same – but my decision to use it was made purposefully. From the Anglian chant and Psalms that underpin my work, to the decision to use English and avoid the traditionally bombastic Dies Irae, my aim was to create a ‘modest’ work that lends itself to the wonderful acoustics of this Cathedral.”
English Requiem for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass Choir, and Organ is published by The Royal School of Church Music. It will be sung on 2nd November by the girls and men of Salisbury Cathedral Choir.
David Halls was appointed director of music at Salisbury Cathedral in September 2005. In addition to his daily duties in the Cathedral, he has toured Austria, Estonia, France, Holland, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the USA with the Cathedral Choir and has appeared as conductor, accompanist and soloist in many concerts and recordings.
In demand as a recitalist in cathedrals and churches throughout the UK, he has recorded three solo CDs on the Willis Organ in Salisbury Cathedral. He is active as a composer with many choral and organ works published in the UK and USA.
David is a member of the Salisbury Diocesan Choral Festival Group regularly conducting Diocesan Choir Festivals, is an organ consultant to the Diocese of Salisbury, and conducts both Salisbury Musical Society and Salisbury Symphony Orchestra performing major choral and orchestral works.

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