Extraordinary 'Requiem'

Classical music

November 07, 1996|By Stephen Wigler

Any performance of Mozart's Requiem by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and its music director, Tom Hall, would be worth hearing. But their performance this Saturday at the Meyerhoff sounds particularly promising.

Mozart left the "Requiem" unfinished when he died in 1791, and Hall will be performing a new edition of this beloved work by Robert Levin. To describe Levin as a great Mozart scholar would be accurate, but it would also be to do him an injustice. He's also an extraordinary pianist (on both the fortepiano and the modern grand), and in his brilliant performances (and recordings) of the Mozart concertos, his improvisations in the concertos' cadenzas not only display a profound understanding of the art of improvisation, as Mozart himself must have practiced it, but also an uncanny ability to write music in Mozart's style.

Before the society's chorus and orchestra actually perform Levin's edition, Hall, the choristers and the musicians will demonstrate several excerpts from different versions of the Requiem, while Levin explains some of the decisions he made as he confronted the task of writing music in the style of Mozart that is juxtaposed directly to that of the composer's.

The concert is 12: 30 p.m. Saturday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets are $10-$26. Call (410) 783-8000.

Pub Date: 11/07/96

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