Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dies Irae

This evening's adventure was a performance by the Yale Symphony of Britten's War Requiem. Now, it was the first time that I've heard the piece in its entirety and the first live performance I've heard of any of it. It's a fantastic piece. I might even say that it's a masterwork. In particular, the children's chorus manages to interject it's simplistic, idealistic material as heart-breakingly as possible. Even I, a hardened schmuck with little patience for those around me, literally teared up during the last movement as the dying soldier's simple statements were juxtaposed against the heartfelt, innocent, even enlightening pleas from the children's chorus.

Apparently, during the first performance, one of the soloists wept. I can imagine why. The Latin Requiem text jars against the soloists' nearly common text.

I'm fortunate that I heard this piece today, sitting alone in the second balcony of Symphony Hall, able to read and hear the text with clarity.

Some good clarinet playing, but especially good work from the Tenor, whose name I'm too lazy to look up. He's on the Yale faculty, so that should be enough. He's wonderful.

Tomorrow: on to Beethoven's 5th Symphonay and a little Poulenc.

I hope that my evening's libations have prepared me.


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