Fans of live classical music performance have an abundance of shows to experience this fall. On this week's Thinking Out Loud we look at a pair of upcoming performances in Mid-Missouri.
First, the MU School of Music and the University Concert Series co-sponsor a November 20 performance by the MU Choral Union of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem Mass. Trevor Harris talked with MU Choral Union director Paul Crabb about how he prepares for a musical program that requires him to coordinate the contributions of nearly 300 players.
Choral Union is a town-and-gown member group... We do large choral orchestral works. It is an important part of the music education for the school but is also important for the community to get a chance to experience and to rehearse and perform these great masterworks of the Western European canon.
At a recent rehearsal for the Requiem Mass, MU School of Music undergraduate student Page Wakefield shared details of her experience singing with 200 other vocalists. The Lebanon, Missouri native is majoring at MU in voice and French horn. Asked about the process of preparing for her first Choral Union performance, Wakefield said:
The biggest part of it is trying to combine the huge technical range of ability that's required and the emotion that 's needed for such a piece because it's written like an opera so the range of dynamics is huge and the different articulations that you have to have in such a large group are very technical but you still have to be emotional because it's written about somebody's death.
Verdi wrote his choral masterwork upon the death of the Italian poet Allesandro Manzoni, an author whose works Verdi greatly admired.
Also on this evening's Thinking Out Loud we hear from another MU School of Music faculty member. Peter Miyamoto is a pianist and piano educator. He recently placed in an annual competition for The American Prize, an award given to professional and amateur American musicians that honors excellence in recordings of the classical repertoire.
Miyamoto has two recent releases out on the Blue Griffin Recordings label. A Piano Recital features Miyamoto performing solo works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Alban Berg, Maurice Ravel and Frederic Chopin. The second new issue from Miyamoto is Brahms Piano Works. It contains four of Johannes Brahms works for solo piano.
The pianist Miyamoto is part of a lineage of American piano performer-teachers that dates back to legendary pianist Artur Schnabel. Miyamoto's teachers Asked if there was advice he would share with budding classical musicians, pianist Peter Miyamoto offers this:
You've got to love it. I believe that music can be a part of everyone's life. So often, I'm giving concerts around the country and people come up to me and say 'I studied when I was a child and I gave it up and I love music and love going to concerts but don't know what I can do with it.'
You can always come back to it... It's just enrichment for the soul. It's something we can always challenge ourselves with. If you are serious about becoming a professional pianist, you've got to really love it. With the economy the way it is and the number of pianists that are out there, you've got to like it for the right reasons. Otherwise, keep it up but think about Plan B or C.
Pianist Peter Miyamoto performs this Friday at the season premiere of the Odyssey Chamber Music Series. The series kicks off it's eleventh season this Friday at Columbia's First Baptist Church at 7:00 p.m. with a set that includes Romantic Era works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann. The Odyssey Chamber Music Series is a KBIA sponsor.
More details on the MU Choral Union's November 11 performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem Mass are here. Find details on the upcoming Odyssey Chamber Music Series season including Friday's Romantic Fall concert here.