Thursday, September 8, 2011

Robert Moran's Trinity Requiem for 9/11

Trinity Requiem: 
The Choral Music of Robert Moran
Trinity Youth Chorus; The Esoterics; 
Musica Sacra
Innova 224

To mark the tenth anniversary of 11 September 2001, the Trinity Church Wall Street (Ground Zero) commissioned Philadelphia-based composer Robert Moran to compose a requiem for the Trinity youth choir. The Trinity Requiem is a marvelous and moving work; the piece is scored for harps, cellos, and organ, and the youth chorus is joined by only a few adult members of the Trinity Choir.

The "Introit" begins the piece with two long chords that, to me, appear as a summons or calling forth to witness the tragic events of our time. The youth chorus then begins with the Kyrie, reminding me very much of the purity of one of my favorite choral pieces, the Faure Requiem, but with something more modern added, an other-worldly sense that I hear in the music of Arvo Part. The offertory in the middle of the Requiem consists of a beautiful, yet somewhat melancholy, interlude that allows more space for reflection than does the music set to text.

On the recording, a siren is heard passing the church at the beginning of the offertory. This was not planned, of course, and Mr. Moran explains in the liner notes that they decided that the "alarm" was worth preserving as a reminder that the World Trade Center had been just behind Trinity Church ten years ago. The simplicity of the "In Paradisium" section, which closes the piece, while tinged with melancholy, also leaves one with a sense of serenity and peace.

I'll be playing the Trinity Requiem some time during my show, Classical Sunrise (6 AM to 9 AM) on WTJU 91.1 FM, Sunday, 11 September, as part of my own effort to commemorate this tenth anniversary of 9/11. Please tune in. I think that you'll be moved by what you hear.

NOTE: This program is available in the WTJU Tape Vault through September 25, 2011 if you miss the live broadcast.

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