Chattanooga Now CSO, mass choir present Verdi's Requiem

Chattanooga Now CSO, mass choir present Verdi's Requiem

March 14th, 2013 by Susan Pierce in Chattnow Music

Kayoko Dan, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra conductor

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.


What: Verdi's Requiem by Chattanooga Symphony & Opera

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16

Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.

Admission: $19, $15 students with valid ID

Phone: 423-267-8583

Note: Originally scheduled performance Friday, March 15, is canceled.

One of the largest mass choirs to ever perform with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera orchestra will fill the stage Saturday night for the presentation of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem at the Tivoli Theatre.

The romantic composer's great work is a musical setting of a Roman Catholic funeral Mass written for double choir, four soloists and orchestra. Verdi composed this masterpiece in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian poet, and the Requiem was debuted in 1874 on the first anniversary of Manzoni's death.

Kayoko Dan will conduct the performance. Guest soloists will be soprano Priya Palekar, mezzo-soprano Rosella Ewing, tenor Richard Clement and bass Peter Volpe, according to Sarah Marczynski, CSO marketing and development assistant.

All four have extensive credits to their names, but Ewing's appearance will be of particular interest to the local audience because she is an alumna of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. She is currently a visiting professor of music at Covenant College.

The 130-voice mass choir will be composed of singers in the Lee University Chorale, directed by Dr. William Green; Chattanooga Symphony Chorus and Chattanooga State Concert Choir, both directed by Darrin Hassevoort. Hassevoort is interim dean of humanities and fine arts at Chattanooga State.

Hassevoort cites "Dies Irae" (Latin for "day of wrath") as the Requiem's most recognizable movement due to its frequent inclusion in movie scores.

"The 'Dies Irae' is a very interesting movement because it encompasses several of the sections of the Requiem Mass, whereas composers in previous years would have set the 'Dies Irae' as a separate movement. Within that second movement alone, Verdi encompasses four of five sections of the Requiem Mass."

The conductor tipped concertgoers off to two other musically interesting and technically challenging sections they will find noteworthy.

"One of the most interesting things for the audience to listen to is the 'Sanctus' movement, because it is written for double chorus and it is polyphonic, so you have different themes occurring at the same time.

"In the final movement, you have the 'Libera Me.' It has a full fugue in it with choir and soloists. Verdi develops a very polyphonic work that ends with a fugue that encompasses orchestra, soloists and chorus."

Marczynski notes that a previously scheduled performance of the Verdi Requiem for Friday night, March 15, has been canceled.

Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.