Classical music boosts listeners' brain functions and energy levels, which is why every child should ingest a well-rounded harpsichord each morning. Treat your noggin to a mellifluous meal with this GrouponLive deal to see "Exquisite Fauré," performed by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. For $20, you get one ticket for general-admission seating in the rear of the hall on Friday, November 9, at 7:30 p.m. (a $45 value). Doors open at 6 p.m. with an optional pre-concert chat with the conductor beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Maestro George Hanson leads Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s chorus and brass ensemble in an evening of liturgical music from throughout the ages. The program opens with Psalm 100 by Heinrich Schütz, whose unusual harmonies deftly mix the intricate polyphonies of early baroque music with the natural rhythms of spoken German. Next, a lively brass canzona—a fugue-like piece of chamber music—by Schütz's teacher, Giovanni Gabrieli, juxtaposes stately exhalations from the TSO brass section with barely contained glee, much like a youthful aristocrat let loose in a wig shop. Gabrieli's "O magnum mysterium" follows, blanketing the room with a meditative majesty as singers weave rich Latin verses above a somber brass line. Changing gears, Michael Praetorius's rendition of the traditional Christmas carol "In dulci jubilo" explodes with a martial fanfare of blaring trumpets and thumping timpani before jubilant voices soar towards the heavens with triumphant joy.
After intermission, the program leaps forward several centuries for Gabriel Fauré's Requiem. Written in part to counteract the overdramatic church music of his time, Fauré imbued the work with his own interpretation of death, which he described as "a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience." Forgoing the thundering "Dies irae" and "Rex tremendae" movements, as well as the melodramatic "Lacrimosa," Fauré's setting instead closes with the unorthodox inclusion of the poem "In paradisum," which floats angelic voices above a gently swaying string and woodwind harmony. Concertgoers are welcome to attend a preconcert lecture beginning at 6:30 p.m., during which Hanson elucidates the finer points of the evening's program and makes ensemble members tell an embarrassing story about middle school.