A Human Requiem
Saturday, July 16, 7:30 PM
Orchestra, Chorale, Chorus, and Soloists conducted by Dinis Sousa
Johannes Brahms, A German Requiem, Op. 45
Clara Rottsolk, soprano; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
Brahms’ Requiem is the composer’s largest and most extravagantly scored work.
The Requiem also features some of the most beautiful choral/orchestral music in the repertoire. The opening chorus, “Blessed are they” exquisitely sets the tone for an evening of comfort, solace, and peace.
Brahms might have called the work a “Human Requiem,” as the composer’s empathetic sensibility and generous heart permeate all seven movements. Four movements are scored for chorus and orchestra while the third features a baritone soloist. The fourth movement is a peaceful pastorale, contemplative and serene. This music is exceptionally beautiful.
The fifth movement is a transcendent soprano solo accompanied by woodwinds, horns, muted strings, and the choir. The baritone soloist in the third movement sings of grief and doubt; the soprano’s text is of maternal consolation.
The moving final section is a delicate recapitulation of music from the beginning, and the Requiem reaches its peaceful conclusion with the same word with which it began: “Blessed.”
Brahms’ Requiem—unlike the requiems of Verdi, Berlioz, or Mozart—avoids fire and fury, instead offering comfort to the living. The seven movements use text from the Old and New Testaments to highlight timeless qualities of hope, rather than fear.
From its debut on Good Friday 1868, the German Requiem was instantly acknowledged as a masterpiece, and established Brahms’ reputation as a composer of international stature.
CLARA ROTTSOLK, soprano
A native of Seattle, soprano Clara Rottsolk earned her music degrees at Rice University and Westminster Choir College, and was recognized for musical excellence by the Metropolitan Opera National Council (Northwest Region). She is based in Philadelphia and teaches voice at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr College. In a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to the contemporary, her solo appearances have taken her across the United States, the Middle East, Japan, and South America. She specializes in historically informed performance practice singing with orchestras and chamber ensembles including American Bach Soloists, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Les Délices, Pacific MusicWorks, the American Classical Orchestra, St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue, Bach Collegium San Diego, Atlanta Baroque, Trinity Wall Street, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Folger Consort, and ARTEK among others.
DASHON BURTON, bass-baritone
Dashon Burton returns to the Carmel Bach Festival for a fifth season as bass-baritone soloist. The Bronx, New York native was previously a member of the Chorale. Praised for his “nobility and rich tone,” Burton has established a world-wide career in opera, recital, and in many works with orchestra. He is a regular guest with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst. Dashon has won prizes from the ARD International Music Competition and the International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and from the Oratorio Society of New York and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Competition for Young American Singers. He graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and received his Master of Music degree from Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music.
Dashon Burton appears by arrangement with Colbert Artists Management, Inc., 307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2006, New York NY 10001.