At the Heart of the Romantic Era

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Brahms' Requiem, Franz Liszt's Christus and Rossini's Messe Sollenelle are all masterworks wonderfully representing the era, but with an intriguing connection: they were conceived and composed while America waged its devastating Civil War.

The episode begins with a new recording of Brahms's Requiem by John Eliot Gardiner and his Monteverdi Choir. This is the second time Gardiner has recorded the work, but this time it was taken from a live concert in Edinburgh, Scotland. The recording has all the nuance, shaping and perfect-ensemble singing of a group that has performed this work many dozens of times over the last 20 years.

Theodore Dubois was a French composer, teacher and organist who worked at the Church of the Madelaine and the Paris Conservatoire. We play movements from his oratorio The Seven Last Words of Christ with Bernard Lallement leading Chorale Franco Allemande de Paris and Jugendsinfonieorchester de Bonn.

Also on the program is Franz Liszt's oratorio Christus. Composed between 1862-1866, Christus takes the plot of Christ's life from his birth to his passion and resurrection. The oratorio is about three hours in duration and requires significant orchestral and vocal forces, which makes it rather a rarity in concert halls of today. We play a movements from a performance of Helmut Rilling leading the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cracow Chamber Choir, and Stuttgart Gachinger Kantorei.



Brahms/Requiem/Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre Revoltionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner


Theodore Dubois/ The Seven Last Words of Christ/ Chorale Franco Allemande de Paris and Jugendsinfonieorchester de Bonn,

Bernard Lallement


Lizst/ Christus/Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cracow Chamber Choir, and Stuttgart Gachinger Kantorei, Hellmut Rilling.


Rossini/Pettite Messe sollenelle

Comments [4]

Jason from East Setauket

Mr. Tritle - at first I thought you mispoke, but when you said it again (albeit in a different way) within one minute of your first error I had to write.

" ... each word being a sentence or a statement that was made in the story of Jesus hanging on the cross ... " " ... his work Christus takes the plot of Christ's life .. "

Mr. Tritle the life of Jesus the Christ was not a "story" with a "plot" that composers derived their music from. Rather, the life, death, passion and resurrection of Jesus the Christ is a historical fact that composers (and a good many Christians) draw inspiration from.

Please take note of this, the realization will enhance your own life exponentially.

Thanks for the beautiful music. God Bless.

Feb. 13 2013 05:19 PM
Gev Sweeney from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

There's nothing like hearing Romantic music quite by accident on a major Civil War site. I was driving around Gettysburg Battlefield when a classical music station in Baltimore aired the overture to Tannhauser, which was written in 1861, two years before the battle. I sort of stopped scoffing at the notion that ghosts inhabit that place ...

Feb. 10 2013 12:45 PM
Sidney Stark

Starting a day with Brahms is special enough; but then to find the very research I'm doing for a novel about music and the Civil War augmented by this amazing show, The Choral Mix, is too good to be true. Why does music support humanity as no other art form? Am I biased? I don't think so. Just listen. Thank you, Kent Tritle.

Feb. 10 2013 10:48 AM
Gary Ekman from Manhattan NYC

The sun coming up over a snowy Central Park and Brahms Requiem playing in the living room. A near religious experience. Of course, it could also be the caffeine hitting my bloodstream. To paraphrase Hunter Thompson, the caffeine began to take hold somewherte after "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." Beautiful.

By the way, what WERE the seven last words of Christ? Google time.

Feb. 10 2013 07:30 AM

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