Strange Radiation

Andrew Willett, unreliable narrator.

Culture time!

I’m presently singing with the Dessoff Symphonic Choir, which is the giant economy-size version of the Dessoff Choirs, a long-running NYC amateur chorus. We’re preparing for a pretty spectacular series of June performances with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.

First, Britten’sWar Requiem”,” his spectacular antiwar piece from 1962. Composed for the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral in England (destroyed in a World War II bombing raid), the piece sets two soloists singing English-language poems by Wilfred Owen about the experiences of soldiers during World War I in juxtaposition to a massive choral performance of the traditional Latin Mass for the dead. It is harrowing and fabulous, sometimes angry, sometimes achingly sad, sometimes transcendently gorgeous. June 11, 12, 13.

Then, Mahler’s [Symphony No. 8)], which will feature about a skillion singers and instrumentalists packed so densely on the stage that frame-dragging phenomena will be measurable in local spacetime. Big, bombastic, wonderful. Probably the more listener-friendly to those arriving unfamiliar with the music. June 24, 25, 26, 27.

For tickets to either performance — going fast! — or more details, see the Dessoff website. (You may need to scroll down to get to the actual text; there’s something wonky in their stylesheet.)

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5 Comments

  1. Heather

    Britten’s “War Requiem” is fantastic! Intense & moving, and amazing to sing. Have fun.

  2. Heather

    So, do you have any voice left?

  3. So far so good, but I can feel ragged spots starting to show up around the edges. If anything, it just makes me fear the Mahler all the more. If I can still speak after the final performance it’ll be a minor miracle.

  4. Heather

    Have a great time tonight. Do you have a party afterwards?

  5. There will be dinner and cocktails, come hell or high water.

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