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Requiem of Gabriel Faure highlights South Holland Master Chorale concerts in May

Information provided by South Holland Master Chorale

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (May 9, 2023) – South Holland Master Chorale will close its current musical season with a pair of concerts featuring the Requiem of French composer Gabriel Faure, along with works by contemporary American composers Frank Ticheli and Dan Forrest.

The 90-voice Chorale, under direction of Philip J. Bauman and accompanied by orchestra, organ and piano, will perform the works on the two following dates:

  • Sunday, May 14 at 4 p.m. at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, 500 Northgate Drive, Dyer, Indana
  • Sunday, May 21 at 4 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 10701 Olcott Avenue, St. John, Indiana.

Soloists during the Faure Requiem will be sopranos Kelly Gilbert of Cedar Lake, Indiana, on May 14 and Mary Henrich of Dyer, Indiana on May 21; and baritone David Buursma of Schererville, Indiana at both performances.

Leading the program will be “The Music of Living,” described as “an exuberant setting of a text teeming with the joy and optimism of life” by American composer Dan Forrest. The program will close with “There Will Be Rest” by American composer Frank Ticheli. This is a musical setting of a poem of the same name by early 20th-century American poet Sara Teasdale.

The major work on the program, the Requiem by late 19th, early 20th century French composer Gabriel Faure, is a musical setting based on the Catholic Mass for the Dead. Rather than the traditional prayerful lament, Faure’s Requiem is altogether different. In place of the somber nature of many earlier Requiem compositions, Faure’s work is noted for a calm, serene, and peaceful outlook.

Faure wrote of the Requiem, “Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which … is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

He told another interviewer, “It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death, and someone has called it a lullaby of death. But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.”

Of the Requiem’s seven movements, the “Pie Jesu,” “Agnus Dei,” and “In Paradisum” in particular are filled with rich, soulful melodies. Originally composed between 1887 and 1890, the Requiem was performed at Faure’s own funeral in 1924.

Admission to both concerts is free; donations will be accepted. For more information, visit the Chorale website at www.southhollandmasterchorale.org or email [email protected].

The Lansing Journal
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