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An evening with Mozart and Haydn's sacred music.

Byline: Daily Star Staff

Summary: St Joseph's Church belonged to Justyna Reczeniedi on Friday evening. The Polish soprano led the amassed forces of the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra L’Orchestre symphonique national du Liban or The Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra was founded in late 1999 in Beirut under the guidance of Dr. Walid Gholmieh and the management of Le Conservatoire libanais national supérieur de musique , the choirs of the National Conservatoire conservatoire

a school of music [French]

Conservatory, Conservatoire a school of advanced studies, usually in one of the fine arts, hence, the students and professors collectively;
 and Antonine University, under the direction of Rob Vermeulen, in a couple of hours of sacred music.


BEIRUT: St Joseph's Church belonged to Justyna Reczeniedi on Friday evening. The Polish soprano led the amassed forces of the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra, the choirs of the National Conservatoire and Antonine University, under the direction of Rob Vermeulen, in a couple of hours of sacred music, composed by the classical tradition's best-known composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Josef Franz Josef, in certain Anglophone contexts rendered Francis Joseph may refer to the following people:
  • Franz Joseph Och, German machine translation researcher now at Google and involved with GIZA++ and Pharaoh

Though she shared the altar with three more soloists from the Warsaw Chamber Opera - mezzo-soprano mezzo-soprano: see soprano.  Elzbieta Wroblewska, tenor Mateusz Zajdel and bass Slawomir Jurczak - Reczeniedi's was the lone solo voice for the first half of the program. Devoted to the music of Mozart, who had difficulty finishing the orchestration orchestration

Art of choosing which instruments to use for a given piece of music. The sections of the orchestra historically were separate ensembles: the stringed instruments for indoors, the woodwind instruments for outdoors, the horns for hunting, and trumpets and drums
 of his masses, the first half of the concert featured some of the best-loved tunes from Mozart's sacred repertoire.

The choirs and orchestra opened the evening with a stirring version of the Kyrie in D Minor, from Mozart's Requiem Mass requiem mass

Musical setting of the mass for the dead. (Requiem, Latin for “rest,” is the first word of the mass.) The requiem's text differs from the standard mass Ordinary in omitting its joyous sections and keeping only the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei,
. It is a booming piece of music, even when performed by a more diminutive period orchestra. Here, maestro Vermeulen pulled out all the stops for his players, giving the orchestra and choirs free reign to fill every alcove and confessional of the Jesuit church - which, it has been opined, can be acoustically unforgiving - with sound.

A smiling Reczeniedi took the stage for "Exultate, jubilate" in F major, a relatively early composition that Mozart fashioned to showcase the virtuoso soprano voice. The vocal and instrumental accompaniment - still energetic after the Kyrie - conspired with the church's acoustics to devour some of the soprano's more delicate upper-register ornamentation ornamentation

In music, the addition of notes for expressive and aesthetic purposes. For example, a long note may be ornamented by repetition or by alternation with a neighboring note (“trill”); a skip to a nonadjacent note can be filled in with the intervening
, giving the impression that her relationship with them was more competitive than complementary.

She persevered through their exaltation, nevertheless, and drummed up reserves of energy for her own bits of jubilance. Her high-C crescendo in the dying moments of the piece sounded not unlike the coup de grace coup de grâce  
n. pl. coups de grâce
1. A deathblow delivered to end the misery of a mortally wounded victim.

2. A finishing stroke or decisive event.
 that ends an unfair fight. The singular impression you are left with after Reczeniedi's contribution to "Exultate, jubilate" is how interesting it would be to hear her with period accompaniment.

Orchestra and choirs were called back to reform the ranks along contemplative lines for the "Ave Verum Corpus Ave verum corpus is a short Eucharistic hymn dating from the 14th century and attributed to Pope Innocent VI (d. 1362), which has been set to music by various composers. During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the host during the consecration. " in D major. Composed in the final year of Mozart's life, and the last sacred work he ever finished, this motet is regarded by some classical music aficionados to be among the loveliest pieces of music ever composed. Choirs and orchestra attained level of balance for the whole if its 46 bars, though the orchestra exhibited a little shakiness just after the piece's choral crescendo, as if the chorus' dying fall were a little too heavy for it to bear.

The solemn tone continued when Reczeniedi returned for the "Laudate Dominum," a piece Mozart composed in the early 1780s for his then-patron the archbishop of Salzburg. It is here that soloist, choral and orchestral accompaniment complemented one another most comfortably.

Though she looked a trifle fatigued as she returned to the alter for her final turn with Mozart, the operatic aria "Et incarnatus est" from his unfinished C Minor Mass, the piece afforded the soloist her best opportunity to shine in the first half of the program. For these six minutes or so, her voice - by turns delicate, insistent and allusive al·lu·sive  
Containing or characterized by indirect references: an allusive speech.

 - ascended and descended the scales in that manifestly secular devotion to profane PROFANE. That which has not been consecrated. By a profane place is understood one which is neither sacred, nor sanctified, nor religious. Dig. 11, 7, 2, 4. Vide Things.  sensuality that only Mozart could pass off as "sacred." - The Daily Star

Al-Bustan continues on Tuesday with "Sound carried by the wind," an evening of chamber music with Denmark's five-piece wind ensemble Carion performing a program of Vivaldi/Bach, Danzi, Rosetti, Ravel, Hindemith and Elgar. For more information ring +961 3 752 000.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Mar 9, 2009
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