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By David Donovan and David Donovan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 14, 1996
The Concert Artists of Baltimore ended its ninth season at LeClerc Hall at the College of Notre Dame Saturday night with much to be proud of.The big question for this program was how conductor Edward Polochick was going to link the Requiem of Maurice Durufle, a 19th-century carry-over written in 1947, with the Beethoven Violin Concerto of 1805, the first great Romantic violin concerto. The link Polochick found was a comment about requiems by Beethoven, who said, "a Requiem ought to be quiet music -- it needs no trumpet of doom; memories of the dead require no hubbub."
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By Mary Johnson, The Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2014
Live Arts Maryland music director J. Ernest Green conducted the Annapolis Chorale Chamber Chorus, Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and soloists last weekend in performances of works by three of the world's finest composers, filling St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Annapolis with glorious sound. Stellar music is a Green hallmark, but he also knows how to entertain and inform - as is his custom, the conductor gave audience members insight into his musical choices, exploring the common musical thread uniting the three pieces on the program: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Vesperae solennes de confessore," Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Keyboard Concerto in E-major and Anton Bruckner's Requiem in D-minor.
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By Judith Green and Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 14, 1997
Please tell me: If you went to a concert that consisted of a serious, intelligent performance of a major work that lasts almost an hour, prefaced by knowledgeable commentary and musical examples, would you feel cheated not to hear anything else?Would you demand half your money back? Would you insist on having some more music, however tenuously related, to flesh out the program?No, of course not. Anyone with a grain of gratitude for the chance to pay respect to a great work would accept an unadulterated performance of, say, Mozart's "Requiem," all by itself, with several hosannas and a benedictus.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
The music of Paul Hindemith gets little attention in our time. This despite the fact that the German-born composer, who spent many years in the U.S. after the rise of the Third Reich, once was widely recognized as an important and influential figure. All the more reason, then, to take note of this week's National Symphony Orchestra program, which offers an especially rare performance of "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Baritone Matthias Goerne, mezzo Michelle DeYoung and the Choral Arts Society of Washington will be featured.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 18, 2002
Giuseppe Verdi was a devout agnostic, which makes his Requiem all the more riveting a statement. Doubt, fear and trepidation infuse the score as much as reverence. The huge work reflects on death and eternal judgment with all the theatrical gestures of grand opera, yet beneath the often overwhelming surface can be heard the frail voice of a single, insecure soul. A great performance reveals that inner voice as powerfully as all the drama provided by four soloists, large chorus and orchestra.
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By Michael Hill | June 24, 1991
*Last January, under the cloak of the blanket of coverage given to the war in the Persian Gulf, the Soviet Union's army launched a brutal attack against the Latvian Parliament in Riga.The parliament, which had passed an independence resolution in defiance of Soviet authority, had been in continuous session for more than a week. The parliament building was surrounded by Latvian citizens who had come to protect their new-found freedom from the Russians who had ruled their land since the end of World War II.These hundreds of citizens were there to witness, certain that their presence would stop any brutality.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 19, 1999
I don't think anyone could have felt comfortable singing or playing at the tempo that Mario Venzago selected for the opening of the "Dies Irae" ("Day of Wrath") movement in the Swiss conductor's performance of Verdi's Requiem Mass last night in Meyerhoff Hall. But this is the music in Verdi's great nonoperatic masterpiece that depicts Judgment Day. That is likely to be a scary time for all of us. One suspects the composer, who surely did not want his listeners to feel comfortable, also did not want the orchestra, the four soloists and the chorus to take what they had to play for granted.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | June 11, 1993
Verdi's "Requiem" is one of those works that leaves a listener astonished with the thrust of its imagination, the sheer beauty of its sound and the colossal sweep of its architecture. It's a piece that David Zinman has always done well -- he did it tVerdi's "Requiem" is one of those works that leaves a listener astonished with the thrust of its imagination, the sheer beauty of xTC its sound and the colossal sweep of its architecture. It's a piece that David Zinman has always done well -- he did it twice in his 11-year tenure in Rochester, and he concluded his first season as the Baltimore Symphony's music director with it seven years ago -- and last night in Meyerhoff Hall he did it better than ever in his final program of the 1992-1993 season.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 26, 2002
Composer Paul Hindemith once said, "The great harmony is death," an observation that makes perfect sense whenever I hear Maurice Durufle's Requiem. This choral masterpiece's treatment of death is profoundly lyrical, taking the edge off of the ancient Latin text and exchanging comfort and hope for all the fear and sadness associated with the end of life. Part of what gives Durufle's 1947 creation its distinctive character is the way Gregorian chants are transformed into freshly communicative melodies by means of exquisite chords.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 10, 2002
"Song," said the French writer-statesman Francois Rene de Chateaubriand, "is the daughter of prayer." And as prayerful introspection takes hold tomorrow in commemoration of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, song will figure prominently in the ritual of tribute. Beginning at the international date line and radiating outward, performances of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's choral Requiem will begin in the world's various time zones at 8:46 a.m., the moment of the first attack on the World Trade Center.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2013
The Baltimore Symphony has presented an epic work every few seasons since Marin Alsop started her tenure as music director in 2007, works that seem to bring out the best in her and the orchestra. Such was the case with Leonard Bernstein's "Mass" and Arthur Honegger's "Jeanne d'Arc au bucher. " You can add to that list Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," presented Thursday night at Meyerhoff Hall, where it will be repeated Friday before moving to Strathmore on Saturday . This nearly 90-minute score for two orchestras, two choruses and three soloists fuses searing texts by World War I poet Wilfred Owen with the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 9, 2013
At the 11th hour on Nov. 11, 1918, "the monstrous anger of the guns" and "the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle" - to quote two of poet Wilfred Owen's indelible phrases - finally subsided. The First World War, the one to end all wars, was over. The silence probably would not have impressed Owen, a lieutenant in the British army. He had already written about the way soldiers "walked quite friendly up to Death" and "laughed, knowing that better men would come, and greater wars. " The poet, killed by a sniper a week before the Armistice at the age of 25, left behind a collection of searing verses that would become integral to Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," a 1962 score that combines Owen's words with the text of the Latin Mass for the Dead.
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By Mike Giuliano | October 11, 2013
The Columbia Orchestra starts its 36th season in a big way by performing Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School. This massive composition entails having the 80-member Columbia Orchestra joined by a 100-voice choir from Northern Virginia known as Choralis. Big numbers also add up for Columbia Orchestra Music Director Jason Love, who is in his 15th year in that position. His innovative and ambitious programs during that period have not gone unnoticed.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2013
Since "Nixon in China," the 1987 masterwork by John Adams that launched what some wag described as a new genre labeled "CNN Opera," contemporary events have been fairer game than ever for composers and librettists. The list of newsy operas, which includes Adams' "The Death of Klinghoffer" and Stewart Wallace's "Harvey Milk," got a little longer with the premiere last weekend of "Camelot Requiem" as part of the Spire Series at First & Franklin Presbyterian Church. This intriguing and largely persuasive piece about the day of the Kennedy assassination, with text by Caitlin Vincent and music by Joshua Bornfield, received an admirable production from The Figaro Project, a plucky ensemble Vincent founded a few years ago. Treating iconic figures is a tricky business.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 8, 2013
Fifty years later, the assassination of John F. Kennedy remains a galvanizing event, studied by serious scholars and conspiracy fringers with equal intensity. People who were old enough in 1963 still remember everything about the news flash that something horrible had happened in Dallas to the nation's youthful president. Those born much later may also find themselves haunted by this dark history. They may even create an opera about it. "Camelot Requiem," which receives its world premiere this weekend with Baltimore area singers and instrumentalists, is the latest and perhaps most ambitious undertaking to date of the Figaro Project, a DIY organization founded by soprano Caitlin Vincent in 2009.
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By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2013
Anne Arundel Community College's Kauffman Theater at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts is proving to be fertile ground for people searching for entertainment bargains. The center offers such options as dance troupes, jazz ensembles, world-class guitar concerts and performances by the AACC Concert Band. The major spring concert season kicked off last weekend with classical concerts by the college's Symphony Orchestra and the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. If these opening classical concerts signal the caliber of what lies ahead, music fans are in for a treat.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | September 12, 2002
Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis - "Grant unto them eternal rest, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them." From Annapolis and Indianapolis to Sacramento and Honolulu, those words were sung - to the eloquent music of Mozart - at 8:46 a.m. yesterday, as the one-year anniversary of 9/11 arrived in each time zone. These synchronized performances of the Requiem could be found throughout the world, starting at the International Date Line, as professional and amateur choirs and orchestras gathered to mark the commemoration through an extraordinary kind of solidarity.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer | November 6, 1992
It's been an autumn of wedding bells in the Anne Arundel arts community.First came the union between Dick Gessner's Broadway Corner and T. G. Cooper's Pamoja ensemble.The result was a delightful "Dreamgirls" over at Gessner's U.S. 50 nightclub.Now, the county's two premier classical music organizations, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Annapolis Chorale, are about to tie the knot with a pair of weekend concerts featuring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's valedictory work, the "Requiem.""It's always important to do collaborations like this one," explains ASO conductor Gisele Ben-Dor, "because so much excitement is added to the local arts scene, especially when the chorus is as attentive and well-prepared as this one. In fact, I'd like to make this an annual event."
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 24, 2013
If you don't have a ticket to tonight's repeat of "Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin" at the Peabody Institute , try using all your powers of persuasion and influence to get one, or just consider sneaking in. It's an important event. Tuesday night marked the Baltimore premiere of this "concert-drama," which traces the history of the astonishing performances of Verdi's Requiem given 16 times by prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp (the Nazi name for the place was Theresienstadt)
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2013
The most famous, roof-rattling passage in Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" describes the "day of wrath" for the guilty as they face their eternal fate: "How great will be the terror when the Judge comes who will smash everything completely … Whatever is hidden will be revealed. Nothing shall remain unavenged. " To hear, let alone sing, those words in ordinary concert halls can be a pretty shattering experience. It is difficult to grasp what it must have been like for the Jewish prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp who performed the Verdi work 16 times in 1943-1944, having learned the music by heart - there was only one score for 150 singers.
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