- Bach Choir of Pittsburgh: A Mass Affair – French Kiss
- When: Friday, February 14, at 8 p.m. or Sunday, February 16, at 4 p.m.
- Where: 1st Presbyterian Church
- Section: general admission
- Door time: one hour before showtime
- Ticket values include all fees.
- $25 for two tickets (up to $58 value)
- $45 for four tickets (up to $116 value)
For the second installment of its season of masses, Bach Choir of Pittsburgh tackles the requiems of two French composers. There's a twist, however—the Choir embodies the Valentine's Day spirit by creating its own "French Kiss." To do this, the singers intermingle the two compositions so that Kyrie follows Kyrie and Credo follows Credo, creating a unique opportunity for audiences to compare the two composers.
- Fauré—Requiem Mass: Although the seven movements of Fauré's mass for the dead were somewhat haphazardly arranged—with bits and pieces built up over two decades and combined with Scotch tape—it's hard to tell from listening. The dark opening perfectly complements the central peak of the Pie Jesu movement, which AllMusic.com describes as "long-breathed, classically balanced, tender, and infinitely moving."
- Duruflé—Requiem: More than 50 years later, Duruflé wrote a requiem mass using the same text as Fauré. The composer also derived some of the harmony from Fauré's work, but added his own flair: Gregorian-like chanting mixed with a quasi-Renaissance counterpoint. In the end, Duruflé eschewed fireworks for a tone of peace and tranquility, dedicating the finished work to the memory of his father.
Bach Choir of Pittsburgh
The Bach Choir of Pittsburgh marks its 80th anniversary in 2014—but it's not done building on its impressive history yet. This is a musical ensemble focused on growth and innovation, its outside-the-box thinking starting as early as 1937, when it performed its first non-Bach composition. Under the leadership of current Artistic Director Thomas W. Douglas, the choir has collaborated with musical ensembles throughout the state and brought thrilling new compositions to life, including an exploration of Alzheimer's disease and Joe Negri's The Poetry of Jazz. The performances themselves can also be one-of-a-kind, even when the music is centuries old or just another instance of Beethoven plagiarizing Mozart. Recent concerts have paired Bach with the films of Charlie Chaplin, and the group's acclaimed Messiah in Space juxtaposed Handel's storied composition with the implements of war by performing it at Hunt Armory.