In the Passion season of 2012 I sang The Brahms Requiem with the WSO and Mozart Requiem with my church choir. This season it will be the reverse. Since the church choir is doing the Brahms we have been rehearsing for two months already whereas we have not had one day of Mozart rehearsal. Both will be performance ready by the Easter weekend. Since both are so fresh to my voice and brain and so loved by my heart, the rehearsal stage will be easy! Some unique aspects will be that we will do the 4 hands piano version of the Brahms instead of orchestra. Although Brahms did transcribe his orchestral version for two pianos it was done mostly for commercial reasons as more and more people were enjoying playing orchestral works on their pianos at home. Now here, too, I feel that money is driving this decision: two pianos will be cheaper than the strings to have the pianos will most likely be cheaper - it better be as I can't think of any other reason to remove the strings from this work, I have performed it with organ one time and it did not satisfy.
I have written about both of these Requiems in previous posts so don't want to repeat myself too much. For an alto there is no question the Brahms is more enjoyable. Johannes, as always, celebrates and honours the inner line by giving us beautiful moving and haunting lines to sing. Mozart uses us as filler and keeps us humble. Mozart writes for sopranos.
Other differences in the Requiems is that Mozart includes the traditional Dies Irae while Brahms does not even give us a peek of hell. Brahms is all about comfort, and who better to provide comfort than the alto. (You know, I have to speak like this as my blog is "an Alto writes about her choral life.")
The exciting thing about doing the Mozart will be that we will be working with Jane Glover who is a Mozart expert. I look forward to hearing her take on a work that she is so intimate with. I have posted about Ms. Glover earlier on this blog as we sang the St. John's Passion with her two years ago. She runs a tight ship and I have an appreciation for that trait in a conductor. She is the British born woman who conducts an accomplished baroque chorus out of Chicago. She is the author of
Mozart's Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music a book I much enjoyed.
I will write more as rehearsals progress.