I am getting excited about singing two Requiems on Saturday the 20th! Mozart’s Requiem is a delightful challenge–lots of 16th notes and dynamics from very soft to full voice.
Mozart actually did not finish his Requiem. We were even told the last note he wrote before his died, a high A for the sopranos! His colleague Franz Xaver Süssmayr completed the score, which had been commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg to commemorate the anniversary of his wife’s death. It premiered on Feb. 14, 1792.
A project is under way to take the portions of the Requiem that Mozart completed and to have contemporary composers write their own orchestration for each movement. So we will also perform the world premiere of “Lacrymosa” as arranged by Austin composer Peter Stopschinski. The words will be in English, but the choral notes will be as Mozart wrote them.
Gabriel Fauré wrote his Requiem between 1887 and 1890 in memory of his own parents. It is also a favorite of mine: I would like to have the famous soprano solo “Pie Jesu” sung at my memorial service.
The occasion for all this is the 2011 Summer Symposium of the Texas Choral Consort, plus orchestra, directed by Brent Baldwin. He is also Music Director for First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. For the Symposium, the chorus of 104 voices (SATB) has met for three rehearsals per week since July 23. It’s a month-long intensive with a glorious concert at the end!
It has been very helpful to me that many of the singers were already familiar with the work–made it much easier to learn. So, with one week to go, rehearsals will begin to add portions of the orchestra, starting with strings. This has been a great and challenging experience.
Bonus treat: “Out of the Silence” for orchestra and piano by William Grant Still.
As indicated in the flyer below, the concert will be Saturday, August 20, at 8PM, at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, 7050 Village Center Drive, 78731 (just south of Far West Blvd). Tickets are $20, $15 for Seniors and Students, and free for the under-10 crowd. Or if you ask nicely, I’ll give you one!