It is a Sunday afternoon. I have been wallowing in Brahms for the last few weeks as I rehearse it on Thursdays and listen to it to and from my work. Readers of this blog know I LOVE BRAHMS! So it is with a "I am not in the mood for Mozart at all" that I take my place at rehearsal. The conductor has the pianist play the opening measures and, SHUDDER, I am grabbed into a scary place and can feel the composers trepidation as the piano takes the listener to the choir's forte opening of "Requiem"! I am overcome by the emotion in the work in a way that has me tearing up at several points.
The first movement of Mozart's Requiem seems to be a perfectly crafted piece of music that one would not approach too casually and certainly not with the bored air I took my seat with. No! This is a fine piece of music filled with uneasiness but also glimmers of sweetness. Mozart is to have said, "I fear I am writing the Requiem for myself." and this sentiment comes through in the opening bars.
The choir I am rehearsing with, The Mennonite Festival Chorus, is a joy to work with. This is a group that seems to know that singing this music is an honour and a sacred task. The music is approached with reverence. Not that there is not fun and laughter, and even cookies and coffee at break, but there is just a general seriousness about the music that I don't find in every choir.
I am so grateful to be rehearsing this work again. Performance is on March 30th at the Centennial Concert Hall with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Jane Glover conducting.