TWO classical music groups in Chester are to come together for the staging of a major performance at the city's cathedral.

Final preparations are underway as two highly acclaimed mainstays of Chester's classical music scene are joining forces in the historic surroundings of Chester Cathedral to stage a performance of a major work by one of the country's best loved composers.

The ambitious collaboration which promises to be a highlight of the Chester concert season, will see Chester Bach Singers and Chester Philharmonic Orchestra joining forces along with Cantiones Choir from Oswestry, to stage Edward Elgar's iconic 'Dream of Gerontius" at the Cathedral on Saturday, March 2 at 7.30pm. 

Chester and District Standard: Martin BusseyMartin Bussey (Image: Paul Crofts)

They will be joined for the concert by internationally acclaimed guest soloists Tenor Joshua Ellicott, Mezzo Soprano Kathryn Rudge, and Bass James Platt. The performance will be conducted by renowned Shropshire based conductor and composer Martin Bussey. 

Composed by Elgar in 1900, The Dream of Gerontius is a work for voices and orchestra which sets the text of the poem by Cardinal John Henry Newman to music.

It relates the journey of a pious man's soul from his deathbed to his judgment before God and settling into Purgatory. Elgar disapproved of the use of the term "oratorio" for the work although his wishes are not always followed.

Chester and District Standard: Kathryn RudgeKathryn Rudge (Image: Paul Crofts)

Formed in two parts each of which are made up of several distinct sections, the piece is widely regarded as Elgar's finest choral work, and some consider it his masterpiece.

It is widely performed by Choral groups and has long been regarded an essential part of any classical choir's repertoire along with Handel's Messiah and Mendelssohn's Elijah.

Full details of The Dream of Gerontius can be found at where tickets can be booked online.

Tickets can also be booked in person at Chester Cathedral.