Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Requiem Rehash

So, I have completed my Requiem weekend and the post-concert highs have long worn out but I thought I should post something about each performance. First, on Good Friday 2012, was the Mozart Requiem with the First Mennonite Church Choir (FMC Choir). This concert was highlighted by playing to a standing room only crowd which is always a wonderful thing to process into! Our conductor lowered his baton and the sombre introduction began only to be marred by a sour clarinet note. I thougt the Maestro would begin again as his wrist went limp and his baton dipped and his face - let's just say, were I the clarinetist, I would not have slept well that night. Inspite of this beginning the performance went very well. It was very passionately led by our conductor and emotionally sung by the choir. Orchestra supported us all superbly and a special note of thanks must go to our concert mistress, Karen Barg. On Saturday was the performance of the Brahms Requiem with Alexander Mickelthwaite, the WSO and the Mennonite Festival Chorus. The day began rather frighteningly with a collapse in the tenor section during our dress rehearsal that morning. Rehearsal was halted and ambulance called. By performance time he was still under observation in hospital. The Concert Hall was not sold out but it was a respectable showing.
Unfortunately I did not feel that the choir was at their best. Something seemed missing in each voice section. Perhaps it was the misfortune of the morning and maybe it was just me but I felt there seemed to be some kind of spark missing. Still there was nothing missing from the Maestro. Alexander sang along or at least mouthed the words, to the whole entire Requeim. He seemed in his element and we altos appreciated his looks of rapture at many of the alto solo passages. He guided us beautifully, being more attentive to a chorus than I have previously known him to be, but then maybe we needed it more.

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