Mozart’s Requiem performed to honor the memory of a lost daughter.
The mood was somber as the music filled the Covey Center on Monday, Feb. 27. The chorales sang the Latin words as the musicians played the complex notes written over 200 years ago. The Chamber Orchestra, Masterworks Chorale and the Wasatch Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Reed Criddle, performed Mozart’s “Requiem Mass,” along with Mozart’s “Et Incarnatus (Mass in C Minor)” and “Rest” by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The first piece, “Et Incarnatus,” featured soloist soprano Melissa Heath, Chelsea Riches on the flute, Heather Fugal on the Oboe and Brian Hicks on the bassoon. Before they began, Criddle introduced the piece to the audience, explaining that Mozart wrote it for his wife, Constanze. Criddle went on to explain that Constanze did not get along with her in-laws and so asked her to sing for his family. In all likelihood, Constanze sang “Et Incarnatus” for her in-laws. Heath sang beautifully as the other soloists played music that was calm and melodic.
The performance was made possible by the Paxman family. Before the musicians and chorale performed “Rest,” Criddle thanked the Paxman family and dedicated the performance in honor of their daughter, Mary McGee Paxman who passed away a year ago. Criddle then recited the lyrics to “Rest” before the chorale sang a cappella.
“Silence more musical than any song, even her very heart hath ceased to stir,” Criddle said. “Until the morning of Eternity her rest shall not begin nor end. But be, and when she wakes she will not think it long.”
The concert concluded with Mozart’s “Requiem Mass” with soloists Eric McOmber singing soprano, Valerie Nelson singing contralto, Tyler Nelson singing tenor and Christopher Holmes singing baritone accompanying the chorale. “Requiem Mass” was the last piece Mozart worked on in his life, leaving it unfinished when he died in 1791 at age 35. The purpose of the requiem was to be sung at a funeral in honor of the dead. The requiem mixes dramatic chorale pieces with soft mournful soloist pieces, a task that was performed brilliantly by all involved. By the end of the evening, the genius of Mozart was felt by all.
By Kelly Cannon