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It knocked my socks off. YESSSSSS.

Despite its fame (I mean, it's Mozart's Requiem!) I've never heard it before. I knew the apocryphal stories and about Süssmeyer, but I've never listened to it on tape or concert.

It was fantastic. As usual, I only enjoyed the soloists sort of (the tenor was great, the mezzo-soprano was excellent, soprano was meh, the bass sounded like rocks being shook; I am not a fan of vibrato generally) but it was the choir - the whole reason why I have the subscription - that made the whole concert.

Having never heard it, I didn't expect just how energetic the requiem was. The Introit (first section) was an explosion of sound. We'd started the concert off with a few motets and fugues - the former by the choir, the latter by the strings-only orchestra - which were mostly incredibly dreary. Fugues tend to be complex by nature, whether by JS Bach or not. As for the motets: one of motets was Carl Emmanuel Bach's, which had a text that enumerated the three stages of life and described them all as weeping and terrible. In fact, it literally started off with 'it begins with tears'. Then it went on to describe middle age and old age as vales of tears too!

The Introit of the Requiem, on the other hand, was just power - and I've always loved epic pieces. Even the kyrie - kyrie eleison, Christe eleison (Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy) - even the kyrie movement was blasts of power instead of pleading, almost a demand for mercy. I really hadn't expected that at all; look at the source text! But it was pretty awesome, not going to lie; the choir had a full-bodied and rich sound, really everything a choir should be, and with the layered setting of the kyrie it was a great kick of energy. Wikipedia tells me it's a double fugue with each statement a motif - that explains the depth of sound! All that polyphony... I got a bit lost during the Sequentia, especially since the soloists sang and I couldn't tell what they were saying. I got back on track when the choir sang REX three times, in ff dynamics, though (the line was rex tremendae majestatis.)

THIS concert more than justifies my subscription. (My three-concert subscription, that is. These concerts are expensive, even with the cheapest seats and student rates: I think the full subscription to all 10 concerts runs from $150-$750 before taxes *winces*) The first concert I went to was a bit disappointing - not bad, just nothing special - it was a French Baroque composer whose name absolutely escapes me right now (I think it had a Baptiste in there somewhere - maybe it was Lully?? I have to say that I'm not really a fan of the Baroque period. Give me Renaissance, Classical, Romantic music any day!) Also I did not almost fall asleep during the concert like I did last time so that was a big plus.

Undecided on subscribing to 2013/14 season. I might go for the symphony orchestra instead (these guys are a Baroque choir & orchestra.)

Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/124465.html.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2013 03:47 am (UTC)
I have never heard the full thing, but I love the excerpts I have heard! So beautiful...if you like Mozart, you should see the film Amadeus, so much of his music in there, including bits of the Requiem as I recall!

Though daaaamn girl that is expensive! O_o I only go to fancy professional concerts when I can get cheap discounted tix--the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (our big symphonic venue) has a system for young adults (re: poor people) that offers great deals on certain shows...like I got an orchestra seat to see the opera Ana Bolena for only $25!
Feb. 26th, 2013 03:59 am (UTC)
If you get the opportunity (and cheap tickets) you should definitely hear the full thing! It's amazing.

I wouldn't be surprised - I think a lot of myths have grown up around the Requiem (the whole thing about him thinking he was composing his own requiem *shiver*)

ikr??? My subscription is ~$60 for three concerts, so it's not too bad, but man, the prices go up so fast. The other orchestra sells tickets for $14 for students one week in advance though - those are pretty awesome :)
Feb. 26th, 2013 07:53 am (UTC)
omg, i love mozart's requiem. I have a CD of it and it is seriously my favorite requiem out of everybody's that I've listened to. I honestly don't think i like anybody else's requiem. And you're so right about the kyrie--I love how mozart does it; i've heard some other composers' requiems and i really just always go back to mozart's.

okay, that was probably too much talking about requiems. xD
Feb. 26th, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
yayyyyy! I was afraid it'd be dreary, but it really, really, really was not :D :D Mozart! You have not yet let me down! <33

Hey, it's a post about requiems - talk about them as much as you want :D
Feb. 26th, 2013 09:39 am (UTC)
OOOh glad there's another Classical Romantics lover out there. My fire and blood they are. And now I live on my own, and no one next door either, I can BLAST the whole things out at the top decibels and scream along with them (used to sing in choirs, spose I still could...?? aah?)

Mozart is truly unforgettable. Can listen to him knitting my heartstrings for ever without any note becoming 'boringly familiar' Ijust WAIT for the shivers of clarinets, and gurgles of the horns..

Requiem is far far better than the Messiah I think. So much more powerfully destroying of the soul. (and putting it back together).

Concerts should NOT be so expensive - they should be subsidised so that a small payment could open minds that have not heard and probably may never hear what MUSIC really is. Baroque included tho it's not my favourite either.

Feb. 26th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC)
We are out there! <3

Haha, yes, classical pieces often have so much range! Or the Romantic pieces, all full of storm and fire, so you have to blast the music (and of course they sound best then too, heh.)

You sang in choir? What part? What sorts of music did you sing/what were your favourite? Just singing in choir lifts up my mood - maybe there are choirs around your area - lots of choirs are always looking for good experienced singers :)

Ah, well, I'm not sure about Messiah vs Requiem. Hm. That's a hard decision. But I've sung the Messiah in a great big church with a great big audience and it was amazing.

I think we ought to work on making people want to listen first - the lessened demand for it must be pushing prices up. So many people think not-contemporary music is dreary and boring, and it really isn't! Everyone around me was at least 20+ years older than me, which made me sad :( (Then again, it's probably the price playing into it, too.)
Feb. 27th, 2013 10:38 am (UTC)
I'm so lucky here, we have LOTS of choral works for FREE in Churches all over, and mostly in the summer so I can go and come back in the lovely late evening sun with my heart FULL of music and all the bad things abolished. There is organ music on Friday nights, the local BIG choir do all sorts.. from Gershwin to Handel, Bach, oh all, and the Stabat maters... love them.

I was a contralto. Sang as Peasblossom once...teehee three little girls. Oh that was a strain until the singing master dropped my part an octave!!! I can join in the Bass's and certainly belt it with the baritones and tenors which I did on a musical cruise - they were short the Bass's!!!
I first sang at the age of 8 -'Sheep may safely graze' in a full church at an Easter Day thing... I know it was good, but all I was worried about was I was standing over the hot air grating and my skirt kept rising (like Marylin Monroe's did MUCH later!!) I was wearing white with a wreath of flowers in my hair. (Oh Squirm..ick No photos thank heavens) I've sung the Messiah so many times I'm bored with it. Tho in a choir it is more interesting doing one's... 'pause - breath and - IN - NOW!!!!' and Alto-ing is much more fun. I still 'moan and groan' the harmonies when I go to church. I'd love to belt them out, but people aren't used to it and stare...

I have 'Land of the Mountains and the Flood' belting out so loud it's shaking the PC!!! teehee. I can't get decent music without tooo much talking on the radios, so I have a few hundred cds.

When we have concerts here, it is best to go half an hour at LEAST too early, and take a cushion for the pews. Then I can spend that time people watching, gazing at the glass, the arches, the carvings... oh just being happy I think. There is a collection taken at the end and quite often cds of the choir. Have found some superb pianists...oh wheee. and quartets and quintets as well as small orchestras. Oh we are Musical in France. LOVELY.
Feb. 28th, 2013 02:12 am (UTC)
Awww, that's awesome! I suppose I do have opportunities - this is a professional choir & orchestra, so they can charge us, but there must be musical groups around that perform occasionally - usually at the end of the semesters, I find!

Contralto! *fistbump* There always is a shortage of basses and tenors, for some reason (and sometimes then we get conscripted to sing for them, heh.)

Oh no, that's unfortunate! And I'm glad there's no photos; that sounds really uncomfortable.

Yes - I love singing by myself, but in a choir it is just different, and amazing all the same. Something about everyone breathing in all at once and then sound coming out.
Feb. 28th, 2013 08:47 am (UTC)
Yes. The pause that is like a string holding you all together and then POW into the first note. Even if it is very Sotto voce and then swells to crescendo... it's the sort of 'joining together' feeling. I so enjoy it. And when I was in the church choir aaah so long ago l959s there was a lovely group of us, Two altos and two sopranos, and we'd sing as a quartet at weddings, and even 'God be in my head' at funerals. THAT sung in fourpart harmony is too too tearmaking. I really had to concentrate on the music and not listen to us. Sevenfold Amens... several of those. and singing unaccompanied too has such a sound in the right place, tall churches or empty halls.

It depends on how things work out here, when all the busystuff has been finally dotted and t'eed. I have a friend who is in the choir at La Roche Bernard... we'll see. I'd probably go along for the company and the singing, to perform.... erm. dunno.

And you're an alto as well. US gels must sing together!!!!!!!! teehee LOVE YOU!!!
Mar. 2nd, 2013 12:37 am (UTC)
Yes! It's an amazing feeling. So unison is amazing and powerful and polyphony is complex and us-versus-the-other-sections and harmony is almost-unison, almost polyphony :D They're all so great.

Oh, a quartet sounds great! Man, I hope when - not if, when - things work out you can go have some fun with some choir :)

<333 altos united! We ought to make a club. :p
Mar. 2nd, 2013 09:00 am (UTC)
Now that I have a camera with gadgets, I MAY be able to perhaps get a tiny snatch... and I'd send it to you! I think there are such clever things to do on the pc now. I'm still poking my nose in and discovering.... But a quick burst of our local choir???? teehee I won't forget!!!!!!

And Altos United... it's an AU!!!!! what stories we could tell!

Edited at 2013-03-02 09:01 am (UTC)
Mar. 2nd, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
Yay! I look forward to seeing/hearing them!

Stories indeed :D
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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