Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mastersingers of Wilmington Present Ein Deutsches Requiem

On Saturday, April 2, at 7:30, David Schelat and his Mastersingers present Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, in a program which includes other German anthems by Eighteenth and Nineteenth century composers for a lush, romantic evening.

The first part of the concert has some short a capella pieces which show off the great control and uniform harmony David Schelat has achieved with his 34-member chorale.

The Frohlocket, ihr Volker auf Erden by Felix Mendelssohn has such a perfect compositional structure that the voices resound and return in the marvelous stone environment of the First and Central Presbyterian Church sanctuary. The Mastersingers’ spirited rendition makes this piece exciting and moving.

The lyrics of Talismane, Opus 141, Number 4 – a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe are inescapably gripping. “The East is God’s, the West is God’s. Northern and southern lands rest in the peace of his hands.” The chorus sings these words with such conviction that it grabs the listener by the ears.

The pièce de résistance is the wonderful requiem, accompanied on the piano by Lotus Cheng and Hiroko Yamazaki in the four-hand arrangement by Brahms. Both the small chorus and the pianists have no trouble creating a build-up of glorious sound that fills the sanctuary. Soloists Eileen Clark, soprano and Edward Albert, baritone have wonderfully strong voices that ring out above the chorus with ease.

If you have never heard the Brahms Requiem, this intimate space and small ensemble provides great opportunity to feel as if you are right in the middle of the music.

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