IN MEMORIAM STRAVINSKY
The 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF STRAVINSKY’S DEATH is to be marked by a concert on 21 May in the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, where the composer’s funeral took place.
The concert will include a new work by French-Lebanese composer and visual artist Zad Moultaka. Requiem for a New World is inspired by the importance of ritual in Stravinsky’s work. Roland Hayrabedian will conduct the Italian counter-tenor Raffaele Pe and a live choir accompanied by an acousmonium – an orchestra of 60 column loudspeakers; the music will be accompanied by ethereal projections designed by Moultaka.
Requiem for a New World is based on a new text by the Lebanese poet Etel Adnan, whose literary work has inspired several musical works including Zad Moultaka’s Nepsis (2005) and Ur (2006), which imagines Earth’s inhabitants migrating to outer space, making a crossing to a ‘new world’ both physically and spiritually.
The concert programme will also include Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles, which was performed at the composer’s funeral in Venice. It is a dodecaphonic work from his late period, and his second wife, the dancer and artist Vera de Bosset Stravinsky, claimed that ‘he and we knew he was writing it for himself.’
Stravinsky’s funeral took place on 15 April 1971. Throngs of onlookers watched as a
Zad Moultaka visits Stravinsky’s grave in San Michele Cemetery, Venice water hearse bearing the composer’s coffin led a procession of gondolas through the Venetian canals to the huge brick Dominican church known locally as San Zanipolo, where 25 of Venice’s doges are laid to rest. In addition to the Requiem Canticles, the music for the service included a Requiem by Alessandro Scarlatti and organ works by Andrea Gabrieli.
The concert on 21 May is free to attend, but audiences will be invited to donate to charitable partner arcenciel in aid of Lebanese students affected by the Beirut explosion and Lebanon’s ongoing economic crisis.
A four-bedroom house in Cliftonwood, Bristol, with a two-manual organ and pipework encased against the walls, has sold at auction for an undisclosed amount. The organ was built by Ronald Baker for his wife Joan, a local organist, so that she could practise in the home she lived in for over 75 years. The console was built above the stairwell, with pipework dominating the main walls.
Correction On the CD The Music of Gerre Hancock (see On Release, Mar/Apr issue), the Air and Ora Labora Variations are played by Jeremy Filsell, not Benjamin Sheen.
An extended, revised version of Paul Hale’s article on Mander Organs ‘From shore to shore’, as featured in the March/April 2021 edition, is now available to read online at bit.ly/2PcG1BG.
Norah Walsh has won the prestigious 2021 Seán Ó Riada Competition at the Cork International Choral Festival. Her winning work, On A Quiet Day in the Future, setting words by the Irish poet Peter Sirr, will receive its world premiere in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork on 30 April at 8pm.
Katherine Dienes-Williams, organist and master of the choristers at Guildford Cathedral, has joined Tom Bell, Harry Bramma, Sarah MacDonald and William McVicker as a patron of the Society for Women Organists (SWO).
Steinberg, the German musical software and hardware company and developer of the notation software Dorico, has been announced as the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain’s Principal Innovation Sponsor, offering a unique package of benefits and financial support to NYCGB’s Young Composers and Fellowship schemes.
The East Neuk Festival, based in Fife, east Scotland, has announced its 2021 programme. The festival, which will collaborate with BBC Radio 3 for four broadcasts, will run on 1-4 July with a combination of live and recorded, digital and in-person experiences under the artistic direction of Svend McEwan-Brown. Guest artists include The Tallis Scholars, who mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Josquin with a performance of his Missa ‘Ave maris stella’ alongside music by Gibbons, Byrd and Tallis.
MAY/JUNE 2021 CHOIR & ORGAN 7