Grace Cathedral will celebrate the Feast of All Souls on November 13 at the Sunday 11 am Choral Eucharist. This is when we gather to remember beloved friends and family members who have died, joining our prayers with theirs in the communion of saints. Your gift honors the memory of your beloved dead and extends the good works begun during their earthly pilgrimage. *
As part of that service, the Cathedral Choir of Men & Boys will perform Mozart’s majestic setting of the Requiem, joined by a full orchestra and soloists. The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young will preach.
Mozart began composing the Requiem in 1791 but died before he could finish the piece. In the final days of his life, as his health continued to deteriorate, he told his wife that he felt he was writing it for his funeral. We had a chance to catch up with Gabriel Fanelli, our Choirmaster, to tell us more about the Requiem service and particularly what to expect from the Cathedral Choir of Men & Boys performance.
Tell us, what will people expect from this year’s Requiem service musically?
This piece explores the full range of emotions that come with loss: some movements express grief, anger, and confusion, but there are also moments of peace, assurance, and hope. While the Feast of All Souls is a time to pause, look back, and remember those who have passed, I hope the music also encourages attendees to look ahead and continue to share the gifts and the spirits of those we love but see no longer.
I understand there are different choices of music that can be performed during a Requiem service. Why was Mozart chosen this year?
Since Mozart died before he could finish his Requiem, we will perform a version completed by musicologist and composer Robert Levin. As such, it beautifully encapsulates the spirit of honoring the legacy of those who have come before while continuing to share and build upon the beautiful things they have left us.
Do you have any advice for anyone who may have never attended a Requiem musical performance, particularly anything to look out for?
Simply allow yourself to be in the moment. Let the music help you examine your pleasant or difficult feelings and use this as a time to step out of your day-to-day life. Music isn’t something that needs to be understood intellectually – if you let it into your heart, you’ll discover it can touch and move you in a way that nothing else can.
The choir has already been working hard rehearsing for this day. Here is a sneak peek as they rehearse the “Dies irae” movement of Mozart’s Requiem.:
* Tributes received by Monday, October 31, will be recognized in the Requiem service leaflet and will combine with tributes received by Monday, November 7, for a full listing on our online Remembrance Page.