Two choruses join voices in free March 12 concert
Western Reserve Chorale and Choral Arts Cleveland will perform together in a concert at Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) on Sunday, March 12.
The two choruses will join professional orchestral musicians and soloists Amanda Powell, Joanne Uniatowski, Brian Skoog and Brian Keith Johnson to present Remembrance and Hope, a concert featuring two very different approaches to the Requiem mass.
First, the ensembles will present Michael Haydn’s Requiem in C Minor. Though written under time constraints and duress, it is a work of lyricism, depth and beauty. Leopold Mozart and his 15-year-old son, Wolfgang, newly returned from Italy, played in the orchestra at the funeral performance. Young Mozart, with his photographic memory, later used themes from this work in some of his own. (You may recognize the direct influence Michael Haydn had on Mozart’s Solemn Vespers and Requiem.)
The Haydn Requiem will be followed by Jonathan Willcocks’s From Darkness to Light, a major work that presents settings of the Requiem Mass alongside settings of the poetry of Ryland Baldwin written during the height of the Korean War. Baldwin was with the First Marine Division in 1950 and was involved in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. The poetry that came from that experience is gripping, with three of the poems featured written from his recollections of that battle. A fourth poem, “Visit to Bellau Wood,” was written after a visit to the American Cemetery at Bellau, France.
At the premier of From Darkness to Light, Baldwin stated, “Remembering is the price of surviving. . . . Darkness can represent disaster, calamity, adversity, time out of joint. There are corporate or national disasters and there are personal disasters: a friend and loved one diagnosed with cancer, terrorist bombings, mass shootings, accidents, and disease. All can be seen as the darkness when adversity falls upon us. But we also have the promise of light that can overcome the darkness; the dawn finally comes and leads to a new day."
Remembrance and Hope honors the sacrifices of veterans who have served in times of war, focusing on the need for all human souls to find hope when faced with the darkest of situations.
Part of this artistic project includes collaborations with local veterans [who are invited to share] their own poetry, which will be featured in the keepsake program book.
Reservations are recommended for this free concert (donations are encouraged). Reservations can be made online at case.edu/maltzcenter, or by phone at 216-368-6062. The Maltz Performing Arts Center at CWRU is at 1855 Ansel Road in Cleveland’s University Circle.
David Gilson is the artistic director of the Western Reserve Chorale and director of music at Church of the Saviour UMC. He will direct the two choruses in the March 12 concert.