Arts at The Park
Park Avenue Christian Church
1010 Park Avenue at 85th Street, Manhattan

For more information, contact:
Dottie Jeffries, djeffries2@nyc.rr.com; (917) 445-7876

Performers include the talented musicians of TENET

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8 PM, Arts at The Park is pleased to present an extraordinary program Requiem Aeternam that celebrates the inspiration composers over the last century have found in the Latin Requiem Mass.

This distinctive program juxtaposes the elegant, chant-inspired setting of Maurice Duruflé (Requiem, Op. 9) with a remarkable new setting (Requiem) by New York composer Gregory Spears. The venue for the concert is the dramatic Neo-Gothic sanctuary of the Park Avenue Christian Church located at 1010 Park Avenue at 85th Street, Manhattan, which will be candlelit for the occasion.

The church, noted for its exceptional acoustics, could not be a more fitting location for this concert—with its features inspired by those of La Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. Paul Vasile, Artistic Director of Arts at The Park, as well as Mr. Spears believe this concert is special — as the church has an ideal acoustic for the piece. And this is the first performance of Mr. Spears’ Requiem in such a setting.

Durufle’s setting, which references Gregorian chant and traditional church modes, will be performed by the Park Avenue Christian Church Sanctuary Choir accompanied by organist David Enlow. Guest soloists include mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek of the celebrated women’s ensemble Anonymous 4 as well as bass-baritone Joe Chappel, longtime bass soloist of the Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. The talented musicians of TENET, one of New York City’s premiere Early Music ensembles will perform Spears’ work which is informed by more eclectic array of stylistic influences and languages. An original film created by video artists Meredith James and Michael Wang will accompany the performance of Spears’ Requiem. The concert’s run time is 1:50.

While the title and instrumentation of Mr. Spears’ piece suggest a characteristically baroque structure, these indices are juxtaposed with Feldmanesque harmony, Reichian repetition, and motet-like vocal stylings, liberating the piece from a particular musical era. The music is wedded to an array of time- and place-exclusive languages, including Latin, Middle French, and Breton, allowing for further multi-referentiality and conceptual intricacy.

The piece premiered in June 2010 as an opera/dance collaboration with choreographer Christopher Williams for his dance production Hen’s Teeth. The performance enhanced the collage-esque sonic references with the disparate imagery of 19th century Breton fairy tales, Greek mythology, and middle age relics. The interdisciplinary realization was called “splendid…” and “the jangling together of singing voices, violin, harp, recorder, chimes, and electric organ is magical, like feathers stroking the back of your neck” (Village Voice). The New York Times called Spears’ score “the most distinguished component of the evening,” the instrumentation evoking a “shimmering medieval aura,” and New Yorker critic Alex Ross described it as “coolly entrancing.”

Tickets are $50 Front Orchestra / $25 General Admission / $20 Students/Seniors at www.smarttix.com.

Arts at The Park, a component of the Park Avenue Christian Church (known as “The Park”), brings together outstanding performers and ensembles from the greater New York City metropolitan area for programs that enrich and inspire and that touch our shared human story and experience. Arts at The Park include live music, theater, political and theological discourse, and family and holiday events. Artistic Director of Arts at The Park is Paul Vasile.

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