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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Robert Moran's Moving Trinity Requiem, for the Victims of 9-11

With the 10th anniversary just days away we all no doubt will have moments where we pause and reflect, mourn, voluntarily or involuntarily relive the anguish and sorrow we felt in those terrible times. There are many scores of commemorative rituals that will be enacted. But to me it is music that can best express the inexpressible complexities. There are no doubt many musical meditations in the works. On Saturday the Union United Methodist Church in Boston will present a program by the excellent avant jazz outfit Trio X. And tomorrow, on the 7th, THE 9-11 church, the Trinity Wall Street church will be host to the world premier performance of Robert Moran's Trinity Requiem, a work which they commissioned. Those who cannot be there will be happy that a recording of Robert Moran's work has just been released (Innova 244), with Robert Ridgell conducting the Trinity Youth Chorus and members of the Trinity Choir, accompanied by harp, organ, strings and hand bells.

It is a moving, touchingly profound work that more or less starts with the sort of lyric luminosity and melodic strength of Faure's Requiem and builds on that legacy. Robert Moran has done some composing in the minimalist camp and he puts the ambient enveloped-sound you sometimes get in that style towards a more linear approach. The haunting timbral passion of the Trinity Youth Chorus carries us away from our worldly concerns and into a space where we can experience something akin to healing. The instrumental accompaniment supports the choral vocal lines with a fitting memento mori reflectiveness. It is music that stands on its own as no doubt one of the great requiems of or era. Perhaps a little silence (a moment) might be the right thing to conclude.

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