As Easter approaches, performances from choral societies form a prominent part of the current concert calendar.
Traditional works figure, but also some less obvious masterpieces get a hearing within the next few days.
On Saturday, for example, the continually imaginative Birmingham Choral Union combines two unlikely bedfellows in its programme at the Adrian Boult Hall. Stravinsky?s austere Symphony of Psalms (half-an-hour off for the violins in this razor-sharp work) precedes Brahms? richly textured, deeply consolatory A German Requiem. The popular and admired conductor Colin Baines is on the rostrum (7.30pm, details on 0121 360 7793).
The same evening Lichfield Cathedral hosts its own Chamber Choir accompanied by the St Chad?s Camerata for a performance under Nigel Argust of Bach?s dramatically concise St John Passion (7.30pm, 01543 306150).
Also on Saturday, Kidderminster Choral Society pairs Haydn?s famous Nelson Mass with even more famous Mozart (the Requiem) at the local Town Hall (7.30pm, 01562 700802).
Haydn (the Harmoniemesse) and Mozart (the magnificent incomplete torso which is his Mass in C minor) also make up Sunday?s programme from Birmingham Festival Choral Society at the Adrian Boult Hall (7.30pm). Anthony Bradbury conducts this attractive concert from Birmingham?s oldest choir.
Later in the year he hands over to Patrick Larley, conductor of the Ludlow and Nantwich Choral Societies, recently appointed as successor to BFCS? long-serving and much-loved music director, Jeremy Patterson.
Monday?s concert in the longrunning lunchtime organ recital series organised by the city organist sees Thomas Trotter accompanying the Birmingham Cathedral Choir under Marcus Huxley in the powerful yet understated Requiem by Maurice Durufle. Marcus Huxley, director of music at the Cathedral, conducts this performance on his home ground (1pm, 0121 236 5622).
The following day, audiences in Hereford Cathedral will have the chance of experiencing Bach?s awesome St Matthew Passion, more expansive and reflective than the St John. Hereford Cathedral organist Geraint Bowen conducts forces including the Cathedral Choir and the Marches Baroque, an ensemble playing on period instruments (7pm, 01432 271990).
A less penitential kind of choral music, meanwhile, can be heard at Symphony Hall on Saturday, when Colin Timms conducts the University of Birmingham Choir and Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall. Holst?s visionary Hymn of Jesus and Vaughan Williams? In Windsor Forest cantata (adapted from the composer?s Falstaffian opera Sir John in Love), are joined by orchestral works celebrating two centenaries: the Suite in D (?For the Birthday of Prince Charles?) by Sir Michael Tippett, born in 1905, and the Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar, marking Elgar?s appointment as Birmingham University?s first Professor of Music in 1905.
Marking the latter event, there is a huge reunion of Birmingham University music graduates on Saturday, many of whom will be at this concert and promising to behave themselves (7.30pm, 0121 780 3333).
Sunday morning at Symphony Hall sees the latest in BBC Radio 3's Recital series, with a recital of piano music by Mozart and Stravinsky played by the rising young British pianist Ashley Wass, who has just signed an exclusive recording contract with the bargain-price Naxos label, with an extended series of British piano music one of the promised outcomes (11am with coffee, sherry or orange juice included, 0121 780 3333).
Symphony Hall also brings the opportunity to hear Jane Parker-Smith in the latest Symphony Organ Concert tomorrow evening (7.30pm). Her full and varied programme is preceded by a free demonstration of this wonderful Klais instrument within the hall?s amazing acoustic (6.15pm, details on 0121 780 3333).
Tomorrow also sees the latest in the long-running ?Live at Lunchtime? series from the Midland Chamber Players, now in their 39th season. Their programme at the Birmingham and Midland Institute in Margaret Street features string quartets by Mozart and Haydn, with refreshments available (1.10pm, details on 0121 449 2352).
Finally, Birmingham Youth Opera presents Britten?s Noye?s Fludde at St Francis of Assisi Church, Bournville tonight, tomorrow and Saturday (7.30pm).
This audience- participatory chamber opera is produced by Michael Barry, fresh from his success as director of Birmingham Conservatoire?s intriguing new opera Dee by Robin Grant, and conducted by Richard Laing. Details on 0121 472 5342.