Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Davids of Note

Apart from my brother, who has life-long rights, here are two important Davids in my life. David Owens (red tie) is music director at First Unitarian in Salt Lake City and my collaborator in 7+ years of making music and making music my own. David Zabriskie, composer of the Requiem we premiered on February 6, 2011, has quickly won my musical respect and gratitude. Both of them have lavished their composerly talents on works written with my voice in mind. For a singer, it really doesn't get any better than that.

February 5, 2011 after the dress run of David Zabriskie's Requiem, Salt Lake City, Utah.
For more on the Requiem and my recent trip to Salt Lake City, see In Sunny Utah (2/4/11)

Friday, February 4, 2011

In Sunny Utah

A new post is long overdue, and so I am sending out a brief missive from my old hometown of Salt Lake City.

I have returned to be part of the world premiere of a Requiem by Salt Lake Valley native David Zabriskie. The piece was commissioned by First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, where we became members in 2003. I am honored that the composer had my voice in mind when composing the soprano solo, and I decided to make the trip from Germany to be part of the performances.

It's an exciting process. Last night was our rehearsal with the chamber ensemble: 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, flute, and piano. Additional soloists include alto Erin O'Connell and baritone Jim Thornburg, both of whom are old buddies from my days in the Chancel Choir at First Unitarian. There is also a saxophone solo--the fourth movement of the Requiem is a jazz number.

In addition to seven movements that follow the Latin Requiem text (Requiem Aeternam, Dies Irae, Sanctus, Pie Jesu, Agnus Dei, Lux Aeterna and In Paradisum), Dave Zabriskie has included two song texts by Kathleen Cahill (a playwright located in Salt Lake City and a dear friend). He closes the Requiem with a setting of a poem by early 20th century American poet Sara Teasdale. The eclectic mix forms an astonishingly unified entity. In some cases, Dave has opted to use English translations of the Latin texts, making the Requiem highly accessible. I have the pleasure of performing the Pie Jesu and the Teasdale "There Will Be Rest."

The Zabriskie Requiem is the latest in a series of Requiems performed at First Unitarian for an annual Remembrance Sunday, at which we remember those from our congregation who have died during the year and in the past. So far works have included: Durufflé, Ellingboe, and Cherubini.

If you want to attend the performance, please join us in church this Sunday. There are two services (both of which will be crowded, especially the later one) at 9:00 and 11:00 am. The church is located at 569 South 1300 East in Salt Lake City. Parking can require creativity and some walking.

If you've been reading this blog and did not know about the part of my life that involves singing, now you do!