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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Music Review by Carol Larson: The Louisville Chorus’s “9/11 Memorial Concert”




Held on the tenth anniversary of the attack, the year’s Louisville Chorus 9/11 Memorial Concert  at St. Martin of Tours was an especially emotional experience.  Director, Daniel Spurlock, chose a program of diverse and pertinent music that was very challenging for the ensemble.

Daniel Spurlock
The program began with the famous, “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” from the German Requiem by Brahms. This piece is one of my absolute favorites and beautifully set the tone for the concert.  Mr. Spurlock and ensemble rendered a very interesting and unusual performance of this piece that may not have satisfied traditionalists.

One of the most thought-provoking works of the afternoon was Joseph Martin’s, “Who are the Brave”, with text by J. Paul Williams. This work asks each of us to “explore the role we perform in our daily lives. The world is full of complicated issues and we must all reflect on this complicated world that surrounds us”.  The men’s chorus did a nice job performing this piece; unfortunately, some of the text was lost in the acoustics of the church.

The program concluded with a complete iteration of the Requiem Mass, Op. 89 by Gabriel Faure, who composed this piece in 1888, probably in response to the death of his father.
This Requiem departs significantly from the standard liturgical text. Fauré includes two new sections, Pie Jesu and In Paradisum and omits both the Dies Irae and Tuba Mirum. This gives his requiem a mood of peacefulness and serenity throughout.  Under Spurlock’s sensitive baton, the soprano section was able to produce the subtle and ethereal sound that Faure intends. This work is such a favorite with audiences around the world today that it is hard to believe that it did not gain widespread popularity until the nineteen-fifties!

Despite the gorgeous work of the chorus organist Timothy Baker, and pianist Therese Davis were clear highlights of the afternoon. Their musicianship and talent are amazing!
The afternoon was gut wrenching as we all recalled the events of that horrific day.  Many thanks to Daniel Spurlock and the Louisville Chorus for putting this program together in memory of “9/11”.


For more information on upcoming performances  go to www.louisvillechorus.org/ConcertSeason.aspx

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