Grinnell Oratorio Society Presents Songs of Remembrance

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 2:51 pm

 

On Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. the Grinnell Oratorio Society will join the Grinnell Singers in performing a concert titled “As We Remember Them,” a selection of choral works accompanied by string orchestra.

The program, which will take place in the Bucksbaum Center's Sebring-Lewis Hall, is free and open to the public.

The concert will open with Mozart’s exuberant work, “Venite populi” for double choir and strings, and “Wer nur den lieben Gott,” a finely crafted cantata by Felix Mendelssohn.

The concert’s centerpiece consists of selections from former Grinnell professor Edward Scheve's Requiem. Born in 1865, Scheve was a noted composer and Grinnell professor from 1906 until his death in 1924. Upon his arrival in Grinnell, Scheve was moved by a memorial plaque in Herrick Chapel listing the Civil War dead; he composed a concert-length Requiem for choir, soloists, full orchestra and organ in their memory. The December 8 concert represents the modern premiere of this work, which was performed by the Grinnell Oratorio Society and the touring New York Symphony in Herrick Chapel in 1915. The concert also includes two selections from Scheve’s other celebrated oratorio, Death and Resurrection of Christ.

Continuing the theme of remembrance, the finale of the concert is the British composer Tarik O’Regan’s recent cantata, Triptych. In this work, O’Regan weaves together fragments of poetry on the themes of memory, loss and eternity by a wide array of authors: William Penn, William Blake, Milton, Rumi, Wordsworth, Hardy, Al-Bayoumi, and Gittelson.

John Rommereim, a composer and professor of music, will conduct the combined choir.