Akron Baroque premiering new requiem
|Akron Baroque founder Amy Barlowe’s new requiem, “Aeternum,” will be performed May 17 at 7:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Akron.|
|Photo courtesy of Amy Barlowe|
Barlowe has penned a 10-part work that takes the traditional form and adds certain sections, like an “in paradisum,” to complete the themes that she has developed. Although, as the composer said in an interview, the audience will hear the work through her “21st century” voice and will hear much singable music, since the piece maintains the Baroque ambience and manner that the performance group is known for.
It was around the Baroque period that solo voices were added to the chant-style requiems before that time. Barlowe has included parts for chorus and soloists that will feature Akron singers Susan Wallin, soprano, and Debra Bordo, mezzo-soprano.
Additionally, the composition is scored for the “kind of instrumentation that is found in Baroque works,” she said, such as flute, percussion, oboe and the requisite strings. Barlowe will play her violin for the performance; Guy Bordo, Akron Baroque’s maestro, will conduct.
Emotionally, the requiem is structured like a cedilla — with an ebb and flow of tensions and resolutions that reach a settled peace in the final uplifting “in paradisum” (that is, “in paradise”). Barlowe said this part is her favorite and it pulls the work together, has very melodic passages and completes “the cycle” of dealing with grief. Barlowe said she wrote this piece in memory of her father.
Barlowe has written many works in her career; this one had an earlier form that was, as she called it, a more “intimate setting” for violin, cello and soprano. She said she saw it as something “affordable” for someone who might want to have it performed for personal reasons, or for smaller groups to add to their repertoire.
Also on the bill for the performance will be Georg Phillip Telemann’s “Wassermusik” (“Water Music”). This piece has an underlying structure of “ebb und flut” (ebb and flow) that suggests the unfolding found in Barlowe’s requiem.
Finally, Akron Baroque will include an “Ave Maria” attributed to Guilio Caccini. The version being done is an arrangement for orchestra and female duet by Willem Stoppelenburg. Wallin and Bordo will sings the parts. The duet arrangement will add texture and drama that may not always be present in solo versions of the work, according to Barlowe.
Akron Baroque’s concert will be free to audiences. The group and its leaders make this music for the love of it, Barlowe said.
The concert should be about an hour-and-a-half, including any intermissions. Parking is free. For additional information, visit www.akronbaroque.org.
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