THE ARGENTO CHAMBER ENSEMBLE PERFORMS MOZART’S REQUIEM With GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS’S SEVEN SOUNDSPACES at ST. BART’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
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The Argento Chamber Ensemble, under the baton of conductor Michel Galante, will perform on October 27th at 7:30 pm at St. Bart’s Episcopal Church all fragments of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem K. 626 along with composer Georg Friedrich Haas’s Sieben Klangräume (Seven Soundspaces), which link together the fragments of Mozart’s masterwork. To open the program, acclaimed flutist Paula Robison will perform Mozart’s Andante K. 315 for flute and orchestra. The featured choir for the program is The College of New Jersey Chorale with vocal soloists soprano, Tharanga Goonetilleke; alto Silvie Jensen; tenor, Steven Wilson; and bass Peter Stewart.
As a greatly treasured contemporary composer in Austria, Georg Friedrich Haas was given complete access to all of Mozart’s manuscripts. Haas isolated all fragments that were exclusively in Mozart’s handwriting and on October 27th, audiences will be given the rare opportunity to hear these fragments (some unfinished), without the completions or orchestrations of any of his students.
Because Mozart died during the composition of his Requiem, this work can never be heard as the Austrian composer intended. Until recently, audiences heard Mozart’s masterpiece as filtered through the orchestrations and completions of lesser composers such as Franz Xavier Sussmeyr. Haas has responded to the challenge of how to present unfinished fragments in a concert format by interjecting “soundspaces” in between the unedited fragments of Mozart’s masterpiece. These soundspaces use letters of Mozart from 1791 to emphasize that during the composition of the Requiem, Mozart was undergoing an intense state duress and professional difficulty. The soundspaces serve as musical transitions between Mozart’s untouched fragments, and they also give a picture of what Mozart endured at this time. The soundspaces are composed in Haas’s own musical language, with the texts of Mozart’s letters spoken and sung by the choir.
Haas will be moving to the New York in 2013 to become Professor of Composition at Columbia University, replacing Tristan Murail. This move puts him squarely in the historical tradition of European composers such as Mahler, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky, all of whom moved to the United States and became part of the musical life of America. Argento is producing this concert as a way of welcoming Haas to the musical culture in New York City.
This concert is presented by St. Bart’s and sponsored by The Reed Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the website at www.stbarts.org , or by calling the concert office at 212- 378- 0248.