We’re home for just a short nine days before taking off again across the pond. And on our “to-do” list is a performance of Gabriel Fauré’s beloved Requiem for the memorial service of our long-time friend, choral conductor Dale Noble who died on March 22. Go back and read my post “Aloha, Dale” for information about Dale’s background in Hawaii and a few of his students’ tributes.
Carl will be conducting the piece as part of the service scheduled for this Saturday, July 5th at Calvary By the Sea Lutheran Church in Aina Haina, which was the Nobles’ home parish while they lived in Honolulu. The service will begin at 4:00 pm with prelude music beginning at 3:30 pm.
We will be performing the chamber version of the work, as edited by John Rutter, with a choir of only 12 singers and a chamber orchestra of 11 players. Guess who’s playing the organ? Here’s what John Rutter himself wrote about this version:
Gabriel Fauré began work on his Requiem in 1887 purely, in his own words, ‘for the pleasure of it’. At the time he was the choirmaster at the fashionable church of the Madeleine in Paris, and the completed first version of the Requiem was first performed there under his direction on 16 January 1888 on the occasion of the funeral service of a certain M. Joseph Le Soufaché. The work continued to be performed in this first version until 1893 when Fauré made an expanded version introducing the Offertoire and Libera me and including parts for bassoons, horns and trumpets. A third version followed – the familiar published one with full orchestra – which received its première in July 1900 at the Trocadéro Palace during the Paris World Exhibition, but it is not clear how much of this score was prepared by Fauré and how much was delegated to one of his assistants. The aim of this edition is to present the Requiem in a form as close as possible to Fauré’s original more intimate concept of the work.
In a letter to violinist Eugène Ysaÿe, dated August 4 1900, Fauré wrote: “As for the number of voices in the choir, that will naturally depend on the size of the hall where you give your concerts. The work lasts about 30 minutes or 35 at most; altogether it is as GENTLE as I am myself!! and it calls for one quiet bass-baritone, the cantor type, and one soprano.”
I was really interested to read that the full orchestral version of the work was performed at Fauré’s own funeral at La Madeleine church in Paris. I think it is especially poignant to hear a composer’s own work performed at his funeral, as we recently experienced at Peter Hallock’s funeral on May 18th.
We will bid Dale aloha in style!
Here again is the performance of In paradisum as sung by the St. Andrew’s Cathedral choir at the funeral of John McCreary last year: