Mary Wilson, Soprano
Christian Baldini, Orchestra Conductor
Jeffrey Thomas, Chorus Conductor
Parry: Blest Pair of Sirens
Hubert Parry (1848–1918) is an oft overlooked English composer of the Romantic era. Parry absorbed musical influence from both Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner, and managed to filter a distinctly English style through these influences. In Blest Pair of Sirens, a choral setting of John Milton’s At a solemn Musick. Through careful word painting, Parry musically highlights salient emotional moments of the poem. Blest Pair of Sirens is the quintessential ode to heavenly ascension, as a result of pairing Parry’s stately and solemn musical setting with Milton’s heartfelt, triumphant poetry.
Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem
with Mary Wilson, soprano
Johannes Brahms (1833–97) composed the Requiem between 1865 and 1868, almost certainly in the wake of his mother’s death. As with the requiems of Mozart and Verdi, the Brahms Requiem stands on its own in concert (though still a sacred piece). Brahms chose the text on his own, using Luther’s German bible texts rather than Latin texts. Not only is the work a testament to Brahms’s sense of meticulous craftsmanship—which is reflected, for example, in the first movement’s lack of violins—but also, a testament to the notion that the living need comfort in the midst of the dead or dying.
$10 Students and Children, $20 Adults