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Orcas Choral Society to perform Mozart’s Requiem

April 20, 2013 · Updated 12:38 PM

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Contributed photo

Mozart's Requiem: the mysteries continue. Few musical compositions have aroused as much awe and sense of mystery as Mozart's Requiem. One of the greatest and most controversial choral works of all time, the Requiem will be performed by the Orcas Choral Society for one performance only presented by Orcas Center on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m..

Mozart’s Requiem is the biggest challenge to date for the Orcas Choral Society, the longest standing choral group on Orcas, and will feature both local and visiting instrumentalists and singers. Soloists for the concert are: Orcas’ own Sharon Abreu, soprano; Kathryn Weld, contralto; Neil Jordan, tenor; and Charles Stephens, bass. The otherworldly composition of the Requiem remains among the most provocative and thrilling large-scale musical works to hear live. The audience can sit back and enjoy the music’s strong contrasting sounds, which are at once powerful and serene.

The controversy, awe and sense of mystery surrounding Mozart's Requiem is due not only to the genius of the music but also to the circumstances surrounding its creation. Mozart’s Requiem in D minor was his final composition and the consuming passion of his last months. The piece was written for an unknown patron, and Mozart reportedly came to believe in the end that he was writing the funereal work for his own death.

At only 35 years old, Mozart passed away, leaving the Requiem unfinished but with significant compositional ideas in place and detailed instructions on how to complete the work.  This “death mass cut short by death” is one of the most performed and studied pieces of music in history and the story of the mysterious commission of Mozart’s Requiem is a well-known one.  The film Amadeus (1984), continued to obscure and confuse the facts around Mozart’s Requiem.

On April 28, Orcas Choral Society will take the Requiem on the road to St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle.

Tickets for Mozart’s Requiem are  $25, $19 Orcas Center members, $13 students, and may be purchased at www.orcascenter.org or by calling 376-2281 ext. 1 or visiting the Orcas Center Box Office open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m.

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