Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mozart's Requiem with the Portland Symphonic Choir - one singer's viewpoint

I sang Mozart's "Requiem" on Friday evening at the Schnitz at part of the tenor section of the Portland Symphonic Choir. It looks like over 1600 people turned out to hear us; so this was probably the largest audience we have had for a show that PSC produced on its own in many, many years. I think that it would be safe to say that the last time we sang to a larger audience was when the choir did Handel's "Messiah" at the Civic Auditorium (now the Keller Auditorium). That's when PSC did sold-out shows to an audience that had not heard the Baroque performances that are preferred in Portland nowadays. I sang in a couple of the PSC "Messiah" concerts before I moved to Europe, but that seems like eons ago.
Correction - courtesy of Mark Petersen, PSC's general manager: The last big turn-out that we had was the Schnitzer production of Brubeck's choral work. It was Feb. 8, 1999, under Bruce's direction. The first half of the concert was just Brubeck's quartet and the second half was his composition, "The Gates of Justice" for quartet and choir. We had over 2,000 in the hall.

I've sung Mozart's "Requiem" several times - both the Franz Xaver Süssmayr compilation and the Robert Levin edition - and I always find the experience rewarding. The choir, at least from my side of the Schnitz, sounded fantastic.

I'll be singing the Beethoven's 9th (last movement only) with many of my cohorts this afternoon at the 14/7 show at Weiden Kennedy. If you don't know about this musical anti-war protest and extravaganza, click here.

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