On 9/11 2004 the Requiem for the Victims of Nazi Persecution was performed in the Washington National Cathedral for the first time in the US, and broadcast across the nation. The Norwegian composer Ståle Kleiberg is the man behind the music performed in memory of the terror tragedy in 2001.
Traditional texts – and beyond
Inspired by Britten’s War Requiem, Kleiberg has included newly written texts along side with the traditional mass texts. Three new texts written by Scotland’s poet laureate Edwin Morgan are short stories told by representatives from three of the persecuted groups: Jews, gipsys and homosexuals – each group given voice by a soloist. These three movements are inserted between movements where the choir has the leading part based on the original Latin texts of the Requiem mass. In this way the Latin choral parts are comments on the individual stories from the soloists, so that the focus is widened from the suffering of individuals to the affliction of mankind.
Together with Kleiberg’s cello concerto Dopo and the orchestral piece Lamento. Cissi Klein in Memoriam, the Requiem forms a trilogy of pieces where the composer deals with the atrocities man is capable of inflicting on his fellow human beings. In Kleiberg’s own words: “The memory of the Holocaust was kept alive while I was growing up, and when the term ethnic cleansing surfaced again in Europe during the Balkan conflict in the early -90s, I was deeply shocked. The crossroads of past and present resulted in these three works.” All three are available on CD.
In Surround Sound
Having been Choir Manager to Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Michael McCarthy was named Music Director of Washington National Cathedral last year. The recording was done in June 2004 in the generous acoustic of the cathedral and is the first recording in Simax Classics history to be released in Surround Sound – issued in the SACD Hybrid disc format. This record can be played back on SACD-players and CD-players (stereo only).