As the story goes, Mozart was approached by a mysterious messenger from an anonymous source, commissioning him to write a Requiem Mass. During the decline of Mozart’s own health, composing that work took on great personal significance. Facing questions about death and mortality, Mozart wrote “I fear I am writing a requiem for myself.”
The resulting work reveals terror and repentance balanced with an intimate tenderness – a musical expression of grief.
In fact, Mozart was working on the uncompleted work on the last day of his life. He died after composing eight bars of the Requiem’s “Lacrimosa,” the last words he set to music marking “that day of tears and mourning…”
In contrast to the somber grandeur of the Mozart is the luminous Lux Aeterna (Eternal Light) by Morten Lauridsen. Written in response to his mothers’ death, Lauridsen turned his grief into radiant sound. The work includes five movements, each blending into the next, based on references to light from sacred Latin texts.
Morten Lauridsen, “the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic,” is the most performed American composer of choral works. The five-time Grammy nominated composer, named “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts and 2007 National Medal of the Arts recipient, will be in residence with True Concord the week of the performances.
As if traveling in rays of light, the listener is lifted by the voices and orchestra. These performances ask the ultimate question, and offer a shining answer.