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Mozart work provides gateway to less familiar in WSO finale |

Mozart work provides gateway to less familiar in WSO finale

The Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, April 19, 2016 4:33 p.m
Westmoreland Symphony
Marc Tourre
Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra
Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra artistic director Daniel Meyer

Like good popcorn at the movies, a solid blend of works can be the key to an enjoyable night at a concert.

Daniel Meyer and Marc Tourre believe they have that mix for the April 23 concert of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra.

“Mozart’s Requiem is such a wonderful work,” says Tourre, director of the Westmoreland Chamber Singers, who will perform in that work. “It is challenging, glorious and so fulfilling musically; it really fits the bill.”

Similarly, Meyer, artistic director of the orchestra, sees the piece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as being the warm, familiar work that allows him to include two less-known selections on the program.

“When you present a piece that is so much a part of the repertoire as Mozart’s, it allows you to say something else, too,” he says.

Joining the Mozart piece from 1791 will be Charles Ives’ “The Unanswered Question” from 1906 and Gabriel Faure’s suite from “Pelleas and Melisande,” which premiered in 1898.

The two later works are far different from the structured, classical writing of Mozart, but Meyer says they both fit the concert in their own ways.

Meyer says Ives’ work is an ethereal, philosophical piece that asks questions that have been unanswered since the first days of man: What is living all about? What happens when this is all over?

A fitting line of thought along with a requiem, Meyer says.

Meanwhile, the Faure piece is built around the composer’s magnificent writing for strings and woodwinds, he says. It is far different from Mozart’s style and form, but it’s so pretty “it will resonate” with the earlier work, he believes.

Meyer says the combination of the three works will create a good concert for the audience as well as one that will be challenging and satisfying for the musicians.

“Having some of the best freelancers in the area, as well as the best Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon (universities) have to offer, gives us that chance to do works like this,” he says.

Tourre, a retired choir director and vocal instructor from Greater Latrobe High School, says the concert is a good one for his singers, too.

He formed the chamber singers in 2013 as a way of providing local adult singers a way of practicing their craft.

“Really, we get one chance a year to step to the plate, and we want to make it a good one,” he says. “I think this will do it.”

The chamber group normally is about 35 singers large, but for this event, he had to recruit about 20 more.

He is confident the added singers will perform well, because most people interested in singing have encountered at least part of the Mozart work at one time or another.

While he says he has been concerned only with his work in the “Requiem,” he likes Meyer’s concert selection.

“It is an interesting combination, that’s for sure,” he says.

Bob Karlovits is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Categories: Music
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