Although best known for his operas, which include Aida, Rigoletto and La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi is also well known for his Requiem, which the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus and Tulsa Symphony Orchestra perform this Saturday, March 21 at 7:30pm in the Chapman Music Hall of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St.
According to TSO sources, Verdi's Requiem has been performed worldwide, "from opera stages to Nazi prison camps."
"Sublime is not too big a word for the feel of Verdi's Requiem," reads TSO's description of the music at www.tulsasymphony.org.
"It's music of an almost unimaginable sweep and grandeur and would be out of place even in opera, except in a grand finale," Phillip Huscher, program annotator for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has said.
Johannes Brahms has proclaimed it a "work of genius."
Verdi was an ardent Italian nationalist whose career paralleled the Italian struggle for unification and independence.
According to Michael Moore, program notes writer for the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia chorus, "When unification was finally achieved in 1860, Verdi served as a senator. And the Requiem itself was written as a memorial for Alessandro Manzoni, the great Italian novelist whose works helped forge an Italian national identity and who was one of the heroes of the Milanese revolt against Austria."
The history of the Requiem began with Rossini's death in 1868. Verdi proposed a multi-composer tribute to the Italian composer, and Verdi himself would write the Libera me. The work, while it was eventually written, was poorly organized and the music never performed.
When Manzoni died in 1873, Verdi decided to compose a memorial himself and reworked the original Libera me to fit the new music.
"While Verdi was quite sincere in his desire to memorialize Manzoni, for whom he had great respect, he was also aware of the commercial possibilities for the Requiem," Moore said.
His Requiem debuted in May of 1874 at the Church of San Marco as part of Manzoni's liturgy, but Verdi also arranged two concert performances at La Scala, which were met with great enthusiasm.
Subsequently, Requiem became one of Verdi's most hailed works.
TOC/TSO's performance will include solos by soprano Erica Strauss, mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller (who was recently seen in Tulsa Opera's Hansel and Gretel as the Mother), tenor Dan Snyder and bass Wayne Tiggs. Donald Studebaker, outgoing artistic director of TOC, will conduct.
Tickets are $20 and available at www.tulsapac.com.
If Saturday night doesn't give you your fill of great classical music, Trio Fedele, presented by Chamber Music Tulsa, play at the PAC's John Williams Theatre Sunday, March 22 at 3pm.
Trio Fedele, a team that includes flutist David Fedele, pianist Robert Koenig and cellist Matthew Herren, has been praised by critics for its "clarity, energy" and "communicative, like-minded approach."
Fedele, winner of the Young Concert Artists International Audition Award and other honors, founded Trio Fedele with his friends and colleagues, all of whom are graduates from The Curtis Institute and The Juilliard School, with the goal of expanding the chamber music catalog. The trio's repertoire ranges from works of the baroque and classical masters (Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Hummel, Weber) to important modern and contemporary works.
For its concert in Tulsa, the trio performs Hayden's Trio in D major, Hob. XV/16; Beethoven's Variations in E-flat major on "Bei Mannern" from Mozart's Die Zauberfloete for Cello and Piano, WoO 46; Weber's Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 63; Messiaen's Le Merle Noir; and Crumb's Voice of the Whale.
Tickets to the concert are $25, $22 for seniors and $5 for students and are available at the PAC's Web site.
As part of its Third Thursday series, Philbrook Museum of Art, 2727 S. Rockford Ave., presents "Photo Interactive" Thursday, March 19 from 5-8:30pm. The program is free with paid museum admission, about $8.
Designed in conjunction with Philbrook's "Seeing Ourselves" exhibition of fine American photography, on lend from the George Eastman House Collection, the event, coordinated by Philbrook's Director of Education Sarah Jesse, encourages visitors to experiment with unconventional photography methods.
Attendees experiment with long exposure photography using glow sticks, make Polaroid transfers and take self-portraits in the photo booth that was also present at the exhibit's opening.
Also available is music from Z104.5 The Edge's DJ Demko and a cash bar. For more, go to www.philbrook.org.
Smooth as Glass
On Friday, March 20, Lovetts Gallery (6528 E. 51st St. in The Farm shopping center) hosts a reception for Jeremy Lepisto's exhibit of new works from 5-7pm.
Lepisto, though unable to attend the opening, unveils nine signature pieces of contemporary glass sculpture from three distinct veins of work: Bridge Series, SQ. FT. Series, and Water Tower Series.
"Lepisto is an internationally renowned glass sculptor working primarily in fused, kilnformed, cast, and blown glass. Represented by the exclusive Traver Gallery in Seattle, Jeremy offers a new perspective on 'glass art' to Oklahomans," said Lovetts Gallery owner Waylon Summers.
The exhibit is part of Lovetts' "New Works by" series and will be on display through March 31. A discussion on Lepisto's work takes place at the reception, which is free and open to the public.
For more, including gallery hours, visit www.lovettsgallery.com.
Share this article: