GAMBIER — The Knox County Symphony, directed by Benjamin Locke, will present its final concert of the season Sunday at 8 p.m. in Rosse Hall Auditorium on the Kenyon College campus. Joining the Symphony will be the 115-voice Kenyon Community Choir in a performance of “Naenie” (Elegy) by Johannes Brahms and “Requiem in D Minor” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The soloists for the Mozart will be Kenyon undergraduates Ellen Kaufman, soprano, Robyn Rae Stype, mezzo-soprano, Julian Tancredi, tenor, and Nicholas Hargreaves-Heald, bass.
Johannes Brahms’s “Naenie” was completed in the summer of 1881, one of the last compositions he would write for chorus and orchestra. It was written in commemoration of the death of his friend Anselm Feuerbach, a neoclassicist painter. The text by Schiller is a re-creation of an ancient Roman funeral dirge (noenia) that was sung by the parents upon the death of a child. Appropriately, then, Brahms dedicated the work to Feuerbach’s stepmother. Brahms himself conducted the premiere in Zurich the following December. The work is notable in how it is free of foreboding or anguish; rather, by utilizing long, expressive melodic lines in the keys of D major and F-sharp major, it focuses on the aspect of remembrance as a healing force.
Many myths surround the composition of the “Requiem in d minor” by Mozart, but all that is known as certain is that Mozart died Dec. 5, 1791, after working on the project for about three months. Only the first movement is entirely in Mozart’s hand; the movements up to the Hostias included vocal parts and a figured bass with occasional indications for string and woodwind parts, and Mozart only completed the first eight bars of the Lacrymosa. At the request of Mozart’s widow Constanze, the Requiem was completed by Joseph Eybler and Franz Xaver Suessmayr. It is unclear how much was completed according to Mozart’s direction, but the Sanctus and Benedictus are considered to be entirely of Suessmayr’s invention. Ellen Kaufman, soprano, is a junior English and music double major from Pittsburgh. She has been a member of the Kenyon College Chamber Singers since freshman year, and has served as the tour manager for the past two years. During the summer of 2011, she spent six weeks studying under Karen Peeler at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. At Kenyon, she has studied with Dr. Nancy Jantsch and Jennifer Marcellana.
Robyn Rae Stype, mezzo-soprano, is a senior drama major from Columbus. She is currently in her third year as a member of the Kenyon College Chamber Singers. She is the president of Colla Voce, Kenyon’s female classical ensemble. Robyn has studied with Dr. Carolyn Redman for three years, and in May of 2011, she was selected to perform in the Angela Waite Student Recital.
Julian Tancredi, tenor, is a senior anthropology major with minors in physics and Japanese. He counts Philadelphia as his hometown. He has had the pleasure and privilege of being a member of both the Kenyon College Chamber Singers and the Kenyon College Chasers for his four years at Kenyon.
Nicholas Hargreaves-Heald, bass, is a senior and a four year member of both Chamber Singers and The Kokosingers. As a history major, he is interested in military history, musicology, political philosophy, and sociology. His musical studies at Kenyon include music theory and music history.
The Symphony is completing its 46th season of continuous music-making for the Knox County area. It has enjoyed the generous support of individuals, businesses and corporations to maintain and expand its artistic goals for the community, including a now-annual free concert for the children of Knox County.
Tickets will be available at the door. There is a charge for admission. For more information, contact Sarah Goslee Reed at 392-4955.
Published on April 26, 2012