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Matthew is back in in town with Faure; Concert.

Byline: By ANDREW BALDWIN

IT was a huge shock to fans when classical group G4 split last year.

The foursome shot to fame when they were runners-up on the 2004 series of TV talent show The XFactor G4 were runners-up on the 2004 series of X Factor and went on to far outsell the winner, Steve Brookstein.

The former buskers, who met while studying at the Guildhall School of Music in London, sold 1.2 million albums in their first year.

But they went their separate ways last summer after it was reported they had fallen out and could no longer work together.

Baritone Matthew Stiff, a Huddersfield University graduate, was one of the quartet and returns to the town tomorrow for a concert.

He is a soloist with soprano Joanne Smith in a performance of Faure's popular Requiem at Huddersfield Parish Church on Saturday starting at 7.30pm.

Since the group ended last year, Matthew has been concentrating on getting back to his classical roots by working on the stage with Opera North in Leeds and performing in concert works such as Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem and Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

Alongside his singing engagements, he is also a presenter on the radio station, Classic FM.

He joins the combined forces of The Mastersingers and the Holme Valley Orchestra, under the baton of James Morgan, plus invited singers from the University of Huddersfield Chamber Choir and New Mill Church Choir.

The programme also features the popular Philharmonic Brass.

The evening unveils a new concert version of Faure's popular Requiem, orchestrated for full orchestra by local composer Barry Russell.

He says: "The original version of the Requiem is designed for devotional use in church. It is conceived for choir and organ with soloists drawn from the choir.

"Faure added a few instruments for extra colour at certain points.

Orchestral players were always saying to me how dull it was to play - for example, the timpani play once, the flutes and clarinets have a few notes only in Faure's version - so I have made a concert version."

He adds: "I like to think of mine as a re-imagining, taking the original and adding bright new colours with meaningful contributions for all members of the orchestra."

Tickets (price pounds 10 adults, pounds 5 concessions, children under 16 free) are on sale for this concert from orchestra members or from Philippa Morgan on 01484 472426.

val.javin@examiner.co.uk

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 5, 2008
Words:423
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