Grammy®-nominated soprano Karina Gauvin promises to shine in Britten's Les Illuminations; conductor Matthew Halls returns to Colorado for three stellar concert performances
The Colorado Symphony presents a spectacular weekend of uplifting masterpieces as Grammy®-nominated soprano Karina Gauvin and baritone Jonathan Beyer join conductor Matthew Halls and the Colorado Symphony and Colorado Symphony Chorus in three performances of Fauré's Requiem on Friday, October 21, Saturday, October 22 and on Sunday, October 23. A work that speaks to everyone with an open heart, Fauré's Requiem is an intimate work unlike others in its genre – a masterpiece with the power to move rather than impress listeners, a treasure of the choral repertoire. In this concert program, the Requiem is paired with Britten's Les Illuminations featuring Gauvin – a work she recently recorded with Les Violons du Roy that has garnered major critical acclaim. Based on the remarkable works of French poet Arthur Rimbaud, Les Illuminations is evocative, dreamlike and even surrealistic. Tickets are now on sale for these concerts that also feature Bizet's Suite No. 2 from the Incidental Music to Alphonse Daudet’s L’Arlésienne.
The centerpiece of this concert weekend is Fauré's Requiem, featuring the Colorado Symphony Chorus under the direction of Duain Wolfe. Unlike other requiems in the repertoire that set the full Latin liturgy (spoken church service) to music, Fauré's Requiem differs in that the composer cut much of the text that focuses on judgment. With these selective edits, Fauré created a work that is more soothing, peaceful and contemplative –widely-regarded as one of the most beautiful in music. Its "Pie Jesu" is undoubtedly the best-known among contemporary audiences, partly due to its use in film and television, most recently "Broken Flowers" starring Bill Murray, which won the Grand prix at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Ironically, Fauré – like many other composers – cared very little for organized religion. He was an avowed agnostic despite holding positions as a church organist. Emile Vuillermoz, in his biography of the composer, explained, "The Requiem is, if I dare say so, the work of a disbeliever who respects the beliefs of others." Rather than a testament of dogmatic faith, then, Fauré’s Requiem is a work to console and comfort the living — music, according to Vuillermoz, "to accompany with contemplation and emotion a loved one to a final resting place."