July 22nd, 2024

Brahms’ Requiem anchors Symphony performance


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on May 4, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra director Glenn Klassen directs the orchestra, along with Vox Musica, members of the Luminous Voices from Calgary and special guest soloists Ruth Phillips and Peter Monaghan during the Symphony Series VI-Brahms Requiem on Monday night at Southminster United Church.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra welcomed Vox Musica, members of the Luminous Voices from Calgary and special guest soloists Ruth Phillips and Peter Monaghan to their latest performance on Monday evening.
LSO director Glenn Klassen said coordinating everyone to perform their Symphony Series IV – Brahms Requiem was a challenge that was totally worth it.
“There are two very different ensembles and so there are things that the orchestra would maybe do if this was just a symphony or just a thing for instruments,” said Klassen.
He explained that the players had to pay attention to more than just the people playing across from them and he had to pay attention to the singers and the orchestra.
 “The listening of the players is very different, they not only have to listen across to each other to make the ensemble, they also have to make that work with the choir in terms of the rhythm, in terms of how loud they are playing,” said Klassen.
He said Brahms, the composer, writes dynamics on how loud to play within the music, but they are guidelines and it is up to the orchestra to play accordingly.
“If the choir was 150 people instead of 85 or 90, then the orchestra can play out more because there’s more singers,” said Klassen.
He added that if the choir sings softly, the orchestra has to play really soft to get that balance.
“Those are things that’s the job of a conductor to make those things happen,” said Klassen.
He said he was very excited to have the LSO play the piece as he wanted to do it for a long time.
“I knew it was going to be a lot of work because it is a difficult piece, but it’s also so rewarding,” said Klassen.
Guest soloist Peter Monaghan said it was a treat to be able to perform a pieces like Brahms Requiem.
“It’s a rare situation to be able to do a piece like this, especially being in my home town and so much nostalgia behind it. I felt it was very special, it was quite nice and challenging but good,” said Monaghan.
As a soloist, Monaghan was able to remove his mask during his section of the performance, and he explained it is because that allows the voice to carry through.
“When you take your mask off there is a vibrancy that is taken away with it on that you can cut through the orchestra by yourself so you can really be heard,” said Monaghan.
He said that it is a completely different ball game to sing with the mask on, so he applauded the choir for performing with theirs on.
Soloist Ruth Phillips said it was wonderful to be able to take part in the performance.
“It’s such a treat to have the opportunity to sing this work and to hear everyone else performing it as well, it was a lovely experience to hear it in a city the size of Lethbridge,” said Phillips.
Upcoming events for the LSO include a rescheduled Intima 2 concert showcasing Musaeus String Quartet with guest musician violinist Lise Boutin on May 27 at Southminster Church and the LSO’s annual fundraising gala Love Notes on June 17 at the Signature Sandman Lethbridge Lodge.

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