Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Requiem to Premier in Saint Louis on May 28th, 2006

A new a cappella choral work will be performed at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Saint Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, May 28th, 2006, at 3:00 p.m.

From the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus website:
The culmination of this historic season is found in the world première of Requiem for St. Louis by our composer-in-residence, Sasha Johnson Manning. This large-scale work has been eight years in the making, and its completed performance has been eagerly anticipated by critics and audiences alike. To round off our 'golden jubilee' the Chorus also presents the three Fest- und Gedenksprüche, written for double choir by Johannes Brahms.


5020 Rhodes Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63109

Tickets are available at MetroTix and the price is $18 for adults and $16 for seniors and students.

Anglophile alert!

I met two charming ladies from Cheshire, England, who will be performing in the Sunday concert. Sasha Johnson Manning is a soprano and the composer of the Requiem, while Holly Marland is an alto.

Sasha showed me her score: it was long and complex, but with my feeble knowledge of music I was only able to see that the opening line, Requiem æternum was in Gregorian chant. Sasha said that this allows the tenor to "show off" at the start. These words start the Introitus of the traditional Funeral Mass (Missa pro defunctis) which is also used for All Soul's Day. However, she says that this is not intended for liturgical use.

Holly says that they are heard every weekday on the BBC's Anglican Daily Service. You can hear it online. Much of the music is quite good and some of it is traditional, as is some of the preaching. Years ago, I used to listen to the BBC regularly and found their Church of England broadcasts highly secularized and un-Christian, but these new broadcasts are starting to sound a bit Catholic!

Lyrics of the traditional Introit:
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
Et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem
Exaudi orationem meam
Ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem aeternam dona defunctis, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine
Et lux perpetua eis.

Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them
A hymn, O God, becometh Thee in Zion
And a vow shall be paid to thee in Jerusalem
Hear my prayer
All flesh shall come before you
Eternal rest give unto the dead, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them.

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