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Sydney Menees

Requiem

October 22, 2006 at 1:11 AM

It was another splendid evening attending a concert of the Kansas City Symphony! Last time, the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto triggered my interest in piano concerti and this time, the Requiem made a leap to my favorite Mozart work. A short Mozart piece, Ave verum corpus, (Truth Corpse is the translation, I think) began the concert. It, along with the Requiem, incorporated the Kansas City Symphony Choir. I, still being fairly new to classical music, had never heard Ave verum corpus and it was quite beautiful, but, unfortunately, I didn't know when it was over. My teacher (who I saw at intermission) said that Michael Stern (the conductor), kept his baton suspended indicating no applause, but I was confused. A modern piece, L'Ascension by Messiaen, followed Ave verum corpus but because of the lack of applause I wasn't sure when the Mozart ended and L'Ascension began. All I new was that what they were playing wasn't Mozart! One could tell by listening that it was a modern piece. The first movement was only brass and their parts fit together in a eerie way. All in all, the Messiaen was a great way to precede Halloween.

The Requiem: Mozart's final work. I saw priests in their holy attire at this concert which means it must have great religious significance. The majestic first movement was ended with power that not even the recording I own could compare to. Michael Stern did a brilliant job conducting this work. The four vocal soloists did a wonderful job also. They were all students at the Curtis Institute and, with Curtis' excellent reputation, I could tell. Michael Stern was silently singing along with the soloists which showed, to me, true mastery of the work. The choir and symphony worked together beautifully and it was the first time I had seen this arrangement. Michael Stern did not disappoint me at all; I am thrilled that such a great conductor leads my home town's symphony. Seeing him at work was definitely worth the wait! I am really excited to see more of the Kansas City Symphony this season.

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