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Choirs and Orchestra Perform Brahms' Requiem Sunday

Choirs and Orchestra Perform Brahms' Requiem Sunday

April 28, 2009

_DSC5217.JPGApril 28, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — The final work of the academic year for the DePauw Choirs and the University Orchestra will be Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) by Johannes Brahms. The piece will be performed in a concert this Sunday, May 3 at 3 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium of the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts. The program will feature the DePauw University Chorus and Chamber Singers, directed by Gabriel Crouch, joining forces with the DePauw Orchestra. The performance will be conducted by Orcenith Smith. Soloists will be Pamela Coburn '74, soprano, and Kyle Ferrill, baritone.

The performance will involve more than 150 student musicians.

_DSC3808.JPGCompleted in the mid-1860s, the Requiem is considered one of the most powerful works for chorus and orchestra, with its unique structure a departure from the Latin "Requiem Mass" for the Dead, as written by other great composers such as Mozart, Verdi, and Fauré.

"Brahms wrote the Requiem in his native German, not Latin, and took text from the Bible using lines of reflection and consolation for those of us left living after someone dear to us has died," notes Professor Smith. "The typical Latin Requiem Mass includes a frightening segment about The Day of Judgment, but Brahms did not approach the work from that standpoint, suggesting, instead, it be 'A Human Requiem', one of solace. As we are fraught with different anxieties, a performance of this nobly spiritual work seems helpful, hopeful and timely."

Pamela Coburn.jpgThe solos in the work are performed by faculty members Pamela Coburn and Kyle Ferrill. According to Smith, "Ferrill's solo texts provide moments of inquiry to the Biblical reasons for our existence. Coburn's music is all about providing comfort, as spoken from the one who has departed this life."

Pamela Coburn, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Voice at DePauw University since 2005, obtained her vocal education at DePauw University (she is a 1974 graduate), the Eastman School of Music, and the Juilliard School. Her vocal instructors include Ed White, Jan De Gaetani, Marlena Malas, and Elizabeth Schwartzkopf. Since her striking success as Rosalinde in Strauss' Die Fledermaus at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich with Carlos Kleiber conducting, the American lyric soprano has held her own amongst the leading international singers. Coburn sang at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich for fifteen years and is a regular guest in the most renowned opera houses and concert halls all over the world including appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, and Carnegie Hall.

kyle ferrill.jpgKyle Ferrill, assistant professor of music at DePauw, is rapidly developing a reputation as a sensitive and versatile performer of repertoire from Monteverdi to modern works. Ferrill's special interests include Baroque music, German Lieder, and contemporary music. Ferrill has worked with such conductors as Stefan Asbury, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Keith Lockhart, Helmuth Rilling, Gil Rose, Robert Spano, and John Williams. He has worked with several orchestras including the Boston Pops, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Ferrill's appearance at festivals includes Ravinia, Songfest, and Tanglewood. In the summer of 2009, Ferrill will be attending the Oregon Bach Festival.

The performance of Ein deutsches Requiem is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the DePauw University School of Music online.