Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mozart masterpiece to be performed

Caritas Chorale will be joined by Anam Cara, Boise Philharmonic

Express Staff Writer

Of Mozart's greatest works, two were left unfinished when the composer died in 1791 at age 35—"Requiem in D Minor" and the "C Minor Mass." The Wood River Valley's Caritas Chorale will perform the latter twice, Saturday, Feb. 24 at 5:30 and Sunday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum. The performances, with musical direction by Dick Brown, are free.

Most scholars believe that the "C Minor Mass" was left unfinished due to upheaval in Mozart's life when he resigned from the service of the Archbishop of Salzburg and married Constanze Weber in 1782 against his father's wishes.

The Mass lay around Mozart's home in Vienna for many years, though he kept telling his father he'd finish it, lacking both the Agnus Dei and the second part of the Credo. The Mass was the only composition of Mozart's that was not commissioned, an unusual state at the time, especially for a working composer with little money.

It was first performed, in part, on Aug. 25, 1783, in St. Peter's Church, Salzburg, with his wife, Constanze, singing—apparently not very well—one of the soprano solo parts. After Mozart's death it was rarely performed and faded out of the public's attention.

Rediscovered in the 20th century, the "Mass in C Minor" is considered one of Mozart's most enduring and complex creations.

Caritas will not be alone to perform this extraordinary piece of music. There will be full orchestration by members of the Boise Philharmonic and the voices of the Idaho Falls-based chamber choir Anam Cara.

"The Boise Philharmonic has been rehearsing for a couple months, and the concertmaster will be coming from Texas," said Rae DeVito, a Caritas member. "It is a monumental effort and a testament to the extraordinary talent of the musical director, Dick Brown, to coordinate all of this into a stunning, collected performance."

Another member, Margie Gould, whose husband, Roger, is also a singer with the organization, said that "every part fits together so beautifully."

"No one part is more important than another," she continued. "It is great fun to sing an ensemble piece as magnificent as the Mozart 'C Minor Mass.' It is my idea of a team sport."

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