Blanche Moyse Chorale performs Brahms’s German Requiem

MARLBORO — The Blanche Moyse Chorale will perform Brahms's “German Requiem” Sunday, Oct. 9, in a concert at Marlboro College's Persons Auditorium.

The program also features Brahms's “Nänie,” Op. 82.

Composed between 1865 and 1868, the “German Requiem” is one of the composer's most beloved works. “While the soaring melodies and rich harmonies of this masterwork had immediate appeal, it was the fact that Brahms wrote it in German, rather than the more traditional liturgical Latin text, that made the work truly accessible to the audiences of the time,” organizers say.

Although it was originally scored for full orchestra and large choir, Brahms himself re-scored it several times for different sizes of orchestra and choir. For this performance, the Blanche Moyse Chorale presents a more intimate version for choir and piano.

Accompanying the Chorale will be pianist Claire Black, an active performer of classical music in solo and collaborative settings who has presented her programs throughout North America. Her deep interest in and commitment to chamber music synergize with her abundant experience, including many years of performance tours with the Cialde (piano) Quintet and with Elegua Duo, her cello-piano duet.

The second piece on the program, “Nänie,” is Brahms's setting of Friedrich Schiller's poem of the same name to music for four-part chorus. Brahms composed the piece in 1881, in memory of his deceased friend Anselm Feuerbach as a lamentation on the inevitability of death.

The Chorale was founded in 1978 by Blanche Moyse as a chamber choir that focuses primarily on the Church Cantatas and other choral works of J.S. Bach. The Chorale has been showcased in the annual New England Bach Festival and in other concert settings.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mary Westbrook-Geha, the Chorale carries forward the skills, passion, and musicality inspired by Mme. Moyse while expanding on its beloved Bach background. The Chorale now “explores an ever-widening range of repertoire with a fresh commitment to the highest level of choral excellence, precision and beauty of tone,” organizers say.

Tickets for the 2 p.m. concert are $22 general admission ($25 at the door) and $10 for students. They are available on the Brattleboro Music Center website,, or by calling 802-257-4523. For more information, contact the BMC at 802-257-4523 or email [email protected].

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