3 Choirs Combine for Rutter Requiem on Good Friday


Park Central’s Kirk Choir will join with choirs from Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church and Plymouth Congregational Church to perform John Rutter’s Requiem on Good Friday, April 19, 7:00 pm. The concert will be held at Plymouth Congregational Church , 232 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse. 

Traditional in its inspiration, and known for its simplicity and brevity (approximately 40 minutes), the seven movements use texts from the Requiem Mass and Book of Common Prayer. The Good Friday performance by the combined choirs is accompanied by a chamber ensemble, and features two soprano soloists, Julie McKinstry and Juliana Sabol. Robert Allen conducts, with Pebble Hill’s Bette Kahler at the organ.

While its dark moments are befitting of Good Friday, the uplifting music of Rutter’s Requiem is decidedly optimistic in its message of comfort, reassurance, and hope.  

The concert is free and open to the public. Please come, and bring a friend.

Chamber Ensemble

  • Dana DiGennaro, flute
  • Jillian Honn, oboe
  • Ruth Berry, cello
  • Anna Wiegand, harp
  • Julia Ross, percussion

Program Notes by John Bawden, MMus, University of Surrey, UK, used with permission

The first movement comprises the Requiem Aeternam and Kyrie Eleison. This is followed by a setting of Psalm 130, ‘Out of the deep have I called unto thee O Lord’ which begins darkly with an unaccompanied cello solo in C minor, later giving way to a more positive C major at the words ‘for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption’. As with the Requiems of both Fauré and Duruflé, the Pie Jesu focuses on the soprano soloist, with the addition of a subdued choral commentary. The Sanctus and Benedictus are both followed by an exhilarating Hosanna. In the Agnus Dei the Latin text alternates with verses from the Burial Sentences, taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. At this point Rutter inserts his superb setting of the 23rd Psalm, notable for its plaintive oboe solo, delicate orchestration and sensitivity to the text. The last movement opens with another verse from the Burial Service, sung by soprano soloist, which leads seamlessly into the Lux Aeterna, finally returning to the opening Requiem Aeternam theme for the peaceful conclusion.

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