The Kirkland Choral Society has been directed by Glenn Gregg for more than 15 years. The group boasts 90 members and high-level performances of great choral works.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary season, the Kirkland Choral Society, along with the Bellevue Chamber Chorus and the Philharmonia Northwest chamber orchestra, will perform Brahms powerful and haunting Ein Deutsches Requiem at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday March 29 at Meany Hall on the University of Washington campus.
This “Brahms Fest” will also feature Brahms lesser known Schicksalslied, or “Song of Fate,” “a compellingly beautiful work that begs to be sung,” said Dr. Glenn Gregg, music director of the Kirkland Choral Society.
Gregg, who will conduct the Requiem, describes it as “a musical treasure.” Brahms began the Requiem at age 23 while mourning the death of his mentor, Robert Schumann. On his mother’s death nine years later, he composed the serene fifth movement for solo and chorus, “Yes, I will comfort you, as one whom his own mother comforteth.”
Most requiems are set in Latin, a prayer for the departed to rest in peace. Brahms’ desire was to bring comfort to the living. His Requiem, in German, opens with the full choir singing Luther’s translation from the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Schicksalslied has a different message. The opening adagio movement serenades the world of the spirits “who wander gladly in light.” Not so mortals on earth. In dramatic allegro, the choir sings “To us is allotted no restful haven to find.”
Philharmonia Northwest under Music Director Julia Tai will open this tribute to Brahms with his Tragic Overture. Fred Lokken, who will conduct the Schicksalslied, is artistic director of the Bellevue Chamber Chorus.
Tickets are available online at kirklandchoralsociety.org
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