Brahms Requiem 

5 stars

Indianapolis Symphonic Choir

St. Luke's United Methodist Church, April 10

Brahms Requiem is the most hopeful, uplifting piece in the requiem canon, speaking to us about the ability to mourn and rise up with renewed spirit to honor the life of the deceased. The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Butler University Chorale and Choir, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Festival Orchestra with soloists Angelique Zuluaga and Christopher Bolduc delivered the heart of Brahms in this masterful performance. At a time in our collective national mourning for the seeming loss of "the American Dream," we are jolted into action by Brahms' embrace of "humanity" and his emboldening call to get up and get on with the good, the ennobling work to connect ourselves with caring deeds. Based on Martin Luther's translation of the Bible, the text is embedded in a seven-movement musical arc that appeals intellectually and emotionally. Blessings, conveyed as in winds on wing anchor the first and seventh movements, stormy darkness pushes the second and sixth. Soloists in meditation first seek hope in the third and then receive it in the sixth. But it is the gorgeous fifth movement, offering tranquility, that is the whack on the side of the head, the way out of "the sky is falling" mentality. "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place" –is this rhetorical for us at this time and place? The genius of the work was met by the meticulously unified convergence of the choral and instrumental. The message in the medium is ours to perform.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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