Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Come See and Hear Me (and a Hundred of my Closest Friends) Sing This Friday Evening!

Normally I run a Biscuit City Chronicle or other work of non-fiction on Tuesdays, but I wanted to get the word out about our concert earlier in the week, so look for the Chronicle tomorrow!

I'm part of the Manassas Chorale (full disclosure: my wife is the director) and we are doing Mozart's Requiem  this Friday evening. A children's honor chorus composed of some of the best elementary school singers in the area will sing during the second half of the program. I hope you'll be able to come hear what should be a rewarding concert. Here's some more information about the evening:

 The Manassas Chorale presents “Mozart and More,” for their spring concert, showcasing 100 auditioned chorale singers, orchestra, guest soloists, and a children’s honor chorus of area youth.  Join us for an unforgettable evening of musical entertainment featuring Mozart’s Requiem. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle on the Prince William Campus of George Mason University in Manassas.

Notes on the Requiem by Manassas Chorale Artistic Director, Becky Verner: Mozart's Requiem, K 626 (Mass in D Minor) was the last composition of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and one of his most popular works.  Mozart was commissioned to write the Requiem in 1791 (the same year that the U. S. Bill of Rights was ratified) by Count Franz von Walsegg through a messenger.   It was to be performed on the first anniversary of the Count’s wife’s death.  Half of the commission was paid in advance with the other half to be paid upon completion.  That fall, Mozart worked feverishly on the Requiem, even when he was ill and confined to bed.  He died on December 5, 1791,at the age of thirty-five, leaving an unfinished manuscript of 92 pages.  His widow, Constanze, not wanting to return the deposit and desperate for funds, asked Mozart’s pupil, Franz Süssmayr, to complete the work using Mozart’s musical notes and verbal instructions.  It is also possible that there were now-lost “scraps of paper” which conveyed details about how the rest of the Requiem was to be composed.  Süssmayr worked diligently on the remaining movements (there are 14 total) and finished the work in early 1792.  In late 1793, a copy of the completed composition, with a counterfeit signature of Mozart, was given to the Count.  It was performed twice in memory of his wife shortly thereafter: on December 14, 1793 and on February 14, 1794.  Published in 1799 and loved the world-over ever since, few musical compositions have aroused as much awe and sense of mystery as Mozart’s Requiem.  The Manassas Chorale is honored to perform this great masterwork  joined by an outstanding orchestra and guest soloists.

DV: I should note that the action and conflict of the play and movie Amadeus is a dramatic fiction. Salieri and Mozart probably knew each other, but they were not mortal enemies, nor did Salieri take down Mozart's dictation of the last parts of the Requiem. The movie is, however, an interesting if unhistorical look at the genius of the great composer.

As part of the Chorale's continuing Concert with a Cause series, please help support Caton Merchant House by donating office supplies (pens, pencils, notepads), packages of candy, crackers, and cookies (regular and sugar-free), small bags of chips, trial or small sized lotions, body washes, shampoos, toothpastes, and toothbrushes.

Partial funding for the Manassas Chorale is provided by the Prince William County Park Authority, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the City of Manassas.

Visit our website, http://www.manassaschorale.org/home.aspx, for details on how to purchase tickets.

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