Dvořák’s Requiem in the Cathedral of Copenhagen
04.10.2007 / 09:10
On 3rd October the Cantata Chorus of Copenhagen sang Dvořák’s rarely staged Requiem in the Church of Our Lady in the heart of Copenhagen.
On 3 rd October the Cantata Chorus of Copenhagen sang Dvořák's rarely staged Requiem in the Church of Our Lady in the heart of Copenhagen. With soloists from the Royal Opera in front, 110 choral cantors and an orchestra consisting of musicians from the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Zealand, and the Royal Chapel Orchestra, all forces have been mobilised on Dvořák's touching death mass from 1890 .
Dvořák's Requiem is only very rarely performed. One of the reasons is that the opus is very demanding and also requires very large orchestral and choral ensembles. Thus, it is one of the less known death masses, but none the less as ever so unique, touching, and beautiful as several of the known ones.
The chorus has no less than 110 cantors, while the great Cantata Orchestra consists of professional musicians from i.a. the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Zealand, and the Royal Chapel Orchestra.
· Karin Roman , soprano
· Susanne Resmark , alt
· Jens Krogsgaard , tenor
· Jacob Christian Zethner , bass
· Torben H. S. Svendsen is the Conductor
Briefly About the Requiem
Dvořák had great ambitions for his requiem, by which he wished to create a monument within sacral music. The opus is encompassing and monumental - not least in the size of the orchestral and choral ensembles, and it is (perhaps for that reason?) not performed very often in Denmark.
The 13 movements of the opus are grouped in two parts:
Part One expresses sorrow, mourning song, anger, and fear. A particular cross motif with the tones f-ges-e-f comes through as a leitmotif through most of the movements. The tones form a horizontal and a vertical line, so that you can literally hear that they "make the sign of the cross". The Cross Motif initiates most of the movements of the opus, as well as ending the first part of the opus.
Part Two is devoted to consolation, prayer, and grace, and towards the end of the requiem there is a return to the point of departure: An intercession for the dead: Dona eis requiem - give them rest. The requiem stops as it began, with the painful cross motif.
Briefly about the Cantata Chorus of Copenhagen
The Cantata Chorus of Copenhagen is a mixed classical chorus specializing in performing oratorical works with the main weight on grand works with orchestral participation.
Within the latest seasons the Cantata Chorus has performed Verdi's Requiem, Händel 's Messias, and Bach's St. John and St. Matthew Passions, Christmas Oratorio, H-Mol Mass, Mozart's Requiem, Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, and Dvořák's Stabat Mater.