-- Mozart’s Beloved Requiem and Brahms’s Nänie and Tragic Overture
Celebrate the Power of Art to Provide Solace and Transcendence --
FLUSHING, NY, May 4, 2010—The Queens College Choral Society and Orchestra will perform with the choral ensembles of the Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM) — a chorus of over 200 singers —in the college’s 69th annual spring concert on Saturday, May 15 at 8 pm in Colden Center Auditorium. Under the baton of Music Director James John, the program will feature two works by Brahms, the Tragic Overture and Nänie, and Mozart’s Requiem.
Brahms did not specify his source of inspiration for the Tragic Overture. Some scholars have suggested that it may have been Goethe’s Faust; others believe it is tied to the death of Brahms’s friend, the painter Anselm Feuerbach, who died only a few months before the work’s completion. The short choral work Nänie — the title comes from the Latin word “nenia,” a type of funeral song in ancient Rome — was completed soon after the Tragic Overture. Called a “Requiem in miniature,” it was dedicated by Brahms to Feuerbach’s memory. Mozart’s Requiem—left unfinished at the time of the composer’s death—is one of the most famous pieces ever written, addressing similar themes of loss and salvation. Together, the three works celebrate the power of art to provide solace and transcendence.
Soloists for Requiem, all of whom are students in ACSM’s vocal program, are Sharon Eisert, soprano; Melisa Bonetti, mezzo-soprano; Nathan Carlisle, tenor; and Brian Goff, bass-baritone. James John has been with ACSM for eight years, where he conducts the QC Choir, Vocal Ensemble, and Choral Society, teaches choral conducting, and serves as advisor to the graduate program in vocal performance. His dissertation, “Johannes Brahms’s Nänie, Op. 82: A Study in Context and Content,” won the Julius Herford Prize from the American Choral Directors Association. It will be published soon in revised form as a book by the Edwin Mellen Press.
Founded in 1941, the Queens College Choral Society is “a singing organization of and for the public, and the students and staff of Queens College.” The Society typically performs two concerts per year with orchestra — in December and May — devoted to the great masterpieces of choral literature such as Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, and Handel’s Messiah. The Choral Society has also performed multiple premieres of new works, including pieces composed by ACSM’s faculty.
Tickets are $20 and $18, and available through the Kupferberg Center Box office at
(718) 793-8080 or online at http://www.kupferbergcenter.org/qcchoral_spring.htm. Group discounts for high school students and teachers are also available via http://www.qcchoralsociety.org/join.htm. For directions to Queens College, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/welcome/directions/Pages/default.aspx