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9/11 Memorial Concerts: Fauré Requiem

posted Sep 3, 2016, 10:19 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Sep 3, 2016, 10:20 AM ]
Next Sunday, two churches in NYC will present a 9/11 Memorial Concert in honor of its 15
th Anniversary featuring Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D minor, Op. 48.

St. Matthias’ Roman Catholic Church Choir in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens will perform it at 4:00
PM. Then at 6:00 PM you can hear it at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Park Avenue with The Really Big Chorus, the world’s largest community chorus with over 10,000 active members. 90 of them from the UK, US, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain will sing, returning five years after their concert when they were invited to perform at Lincoln Center for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.

In 1888, Fauré composed his first version of the Mass for the Dead, which he called un petit Requiem for the funeral of an architect. Over the next two years, he expanded its length to 35-minutes, reworked it for full orchestra, and premiered his Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 at the Paris World’s Fair in 1900. In 1924 it was performed for his own funeral.

He told an interviewer, "Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest. It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of death. But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.