Great Music at St. Bart's to Feature Argento Chamber Ensemble, 10/27

By: Sep. 04, 2012
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Great Music at St. Bart's will present the Argento Chamber Ensemble, under the direction of Michel Galante, performing all surviving fragments of Mozart's unfinished Requiem linked together by composer Georg Friedrich Haas's Seven Soundspaces (Sieben Klangraume), To open the program, acclaimed flutist Paula Robison will perform Mozart's Andante K. 315 for flute and orchestra.

This concert is sponsored by the Reed Foundation.

Tickets at $35 or $25 ($25 or $15 rates for students/seniors) can be purchased at or with a credit card by calling (212) 378-0248, and will be available at the concert desk at St. Bart's Central daily from 9 am - 6 pm and will be available at the door on the afternoon of the concert.

"Because Mozart died while composing the Requiem", says Director Michel Galante, "this work can never be heard as the Austrian composer intended it. Until recently, audiences have heard Mozart's masterpiece as filtered through the orchestrations and completions of lesser composers such as Franz Xavier Süssmeyr."

As a greatly treasured and trusted contemporary composer in Austria, Georg Friedrich Haas was given complete access to all of Mozart's manuscripts. Haas isolated all fragments which were exclusively in Mozart's handwriting. On October 27th, audiences will be given the rare opportunity to hear these fragments (some unfinished), without the completions or orchestrations by any of Mozart's students.

Haas responds to the challenge of how to present unfinished fragments in a concert format by interjecting "soundspaces" between the unedited fragments of Mozart's masterpiece. These soundspaces use letters of Mozart from 1791 to reveal that during the composition of the Requiem, Mozart was in an intense state of duress and professional difficulty. These "soundspaces" serve as musical transitions between Mozart's untouched fragments and also to give a picture of what Mozart endured at this time. The "soundspaces" are composed in Haas' own musical language, with the texts of Mozart's letters spoken and sung by the choir.

Like Dvorak, Bartok, and Mahler before him, Georg Friedrich Haas will be moving to New York City. He has accepted a senior post as a professor of composition at Columbia University during 2012-2013.

The Great Music Series, produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, Inc., offers a diverse variety of concerts from large scale choral works and organ concerts in the church to chamber music and jazz in the acoustically remarkable chapel. Crucial to the musical programming of the series is St. Bartholomew's Choir, a fully professional choir, and the Boy and Girl Choristers, renowned as one of the finest children's choir in the metropolitan area. The church also possesses an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ of 168 stops, the largest in New York City and considered to be one of the greatest examples of the American Classic Organ of the 20th century.