Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sacramento Choral Society does Brahms


This is an interesting week for me.  Last night the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra presented the Brahms Requiem, a piece I dearly love, at the Community Center Theater.  Monday night is the Saint Matthew Passion by Bach, my other favorite choral work. a/>

Donald Kendrick is the music director.  Here is the program with comments.

Serenade for Strings by Edward Elgar (1892).

This is a lovely piece in three movements for strings only.  They played it well.  The chorus sat behind but did not participate.

Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1911).

Trevor Scheunemann, baritone, was the excellent soloist.  This piece includes parts for chorus and winds.  I regret that I was less impressed with the work by the wind sections.  I have long been a fan of Ralph Vaughan Williams whose greatest contribution to western civilization is the Anglican/Episcopalian hymnal.  These pieces were new for me and were in Williams' usual English post-romantic style.  I liked them very much. 

Ein Deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms (1868)

Again Trevor Scheunemann was the baritone soloist, and Carrie Hennessey sang the soprano solo.
  1. Selig sind, die da Leid tragen
  2. Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras
  3. Herr, lehre doch mich (baritone)
  4. Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen
  5. Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit (soprano)
  6. Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt (baritone)
  7. Selig sind die Toten
Brahms' Requiem is not related to any mass liturgy, either Catholic or Lutheran, but is instead a set of biblical texts about death from Luther's translation.  The title comes from Brahms himself.

This lives deep in my memory and was performed here with devotion.  The orchestra was less than ideal.


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