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Ed Waffle

Verdi "Requiem" on PBS 9/11

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With the lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of

Liberty as dramatic backdrops,this live performance of

Giuseppe Verdi's REQUIEM at Liberty State Park in

Jersey City,N.J.,features performances by the New

Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Rider University's

Westminster Symphonic Choir and soloists:

soprano Sylvie Valayre

mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick

tenor Salvatore Licitra

bass Samuel Ramey

conducted by: ???

September 11, 2002 Wednesday, 10pm Eastern/9pm Central

PBS Stations. Check local listings.

Looks like PBS has come through. Some real star power among the soloists, especially Ramey and Zajick.

The Verdi Requiem presents challenges for broadcasters because of its huge dynamic range.

Good luck and Godspeed to all forum members who are participating in the world wide Mozart "Requiem", which has already begun.

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Thanks for posting this, Ed. I would have missed the broadcast otherwise, and the Verdi Requiem is among my favorite pieces of music. I didn't hear Bill Moyers' opening remarks, so I still don't know who the conductor was. Whoever he was, he led a careful, correct, restrained performance. I could have done with more wild anger in the Dies Irae, and more passion throughout. Sam Ramey was the best of the singers by far. It was rather strange that there was no audience. I wonder what the thinking was behind that decision. At any rate, any chance to hear the Verdi Requiem is not to be missed. It provided a fitting conclusion to a solemn day. Thanks again.

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Apparently the weather was too bad for them to broadcast the actual performance; what was on the air was the dress rehearsal.

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There was a combination of wind, threatening weather and unease by orchestra and chorus with the conditions that led to the cancellation.

Dress rehearsals are taped for a few reasons--one is to have a tape available to replace cracked notes, bad entrances and things like that, if the director decides to do so. Generally these fixes would only be done for later release of the tape, not for the broadcast. Also it gives the director a chance to check lighting, placement, etc. In this case Sylvie Valayre, for example, probably would have had a shawl to cover her bare shoulders.

The dress came after a day of rehearsals, so everyone was must have been very tired by the time the tape rolled. Singers tend to "mark" during rehearsals, but it still takes a toll. Shows just how much stamina is necessary to be a performing artist.

Additionally, if was the first time that Salvatore Licitra had sung the role, so he was probably both nervous and tired.

It was quite something for the camera to pan the empty seats, turning what was a quickly put together substitute into a coup de theater. It was a visual, if not intended, reminder of the thousands who had perished and why this performance was being done.

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Thank you for this -- I didn't see it, unfortunately, but I'm very glad to know of its existence :)

Ed mentioned the "Rolling Requiem." ABC-News ended it's l-o-n-g coverage of 9/11 with a quite substantial clip of these performances. (Mozart's Requiem was sung 'round the clock yesterday, going round the world from city to city, amateur groups and noted choirs.) I must confess that, listening to that music, and thinking of the idea of having one piece of music being played like that -- THINK of the sound waves going to our friends in Outer Space -- I thought less of 9/11 and more of Mozart. What a triumph!

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I, too, saw this performance last night. The scene was almost unreal looking...absolutely breath taking. Although I am sure many audience members were very disappointed not to have been able to attend this concert's live performance, I found the empty chairs to be very moving. I felt that their starkness contrasted with the music and Manhattan skyline was profound and felt, as Ed noted, that it was really a more fitting a tribute.

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