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Mozart's Requiem & John Rutter's Requiem

Mozart's Requiem & John Rutter's Requiem

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  • Sat 23 Jun ’12, 7:30pm


St Peter's Anglican Church, 229 Ruahine Street, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $25.00
  • Concession: $20.00
  • Student with ID: $15.00

The Palmerston North Choral Society and Renaissance Singers join forces to present two heavenly requiem masses, bidding the departed eternal rest. The concert will feature Requiems by the eighteenth century Viennese composer Wolfgang Mozart and contemporary English composer John Rutter.

Mozart’s Requiem is one of the masterpieces of the form, and it carries with it a most amazing history. In 1791, Mozart was commissioned anonymously by an eccentric count to write a Requiem. According to Mozart’s wife, Constanze, Mozart believed that the commission was a sign of his own impending death, and he set out with a passion to complete it, but died with the work unfinished. The task of providing the substantial parts left unwritten was given by Constanze to another composer, Franz Süssmayr, with the understanding that the whole work would be credited to Mozart. The work as completed by Süssmayr is the version which is usually performed, and it will be in this form that the combined choirs will present it under the baton of Guy Donaldson. Mozart’s music reflects the uncertainties of late eighteenth century Europe, and a belief system shrouded in the fear of the unknown. It is rich in colour and drama, as befits one of the great composers at the height of his powers.

John Rutter was born in England in 1945 and is a composer, conductor, editor and arranger of mainly choral music. A London Evening Standard review of 2005 pertinently observed that “for the infectiousness of his melodic invention and consummate craftsmanship, Rutter has few peers.” Rutter’s music is consistently engaging in its melodic writing and in its musical colour, and Palmerston North audiences have enjoyed other works of his performed by both choirs. Though the 1985 Rutter Requiem has in common with the Mozart setting a number of the sections of the traditional Latin Roman Catholic Mass, it is generally lighter in its expression than the Mozart, and focuses in language and spirit more on the living than on the dead. In keeping with this, he also draws on English settings of words that are commonly used at Anglican funerals. Most familiar will be a beautiful version of The Lord is My Shepherd. The Choral Society Musical Director, Alison Stewart, will conduct this work.

Vocal soloists are Janey MacKenzie (soprano), Judy Orgias (mezzo-soprano), John Beaglehole (tenor), and Roger Wilson (bass-baritone). Organist Douglas Mews is joined, in the Rutter Requiem, by Sasha Routh (cello) and David Cooper (oboe).

Tickets available from choir members or at the door from 7pm.

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