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April 14, 2005



The Haverford-Bryn Mawr Chorale and the Chorale Chamber Orchestra will present Johannes Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem on Thursday, April 21, at 8 p.m. in Haverford's Marshall Auditorium. The chorale is directed by Haverford Associate Professor of Music Thomas Lloyd; Haverford students Katy Gentry '05, Ben Leftwich '06 and Justin Slawson '05 will perform solos. The concert is free and open to the public.

Chorale Rehearsal

"This semester's concert is somewhat unusual," Lloyd says, "in that we made a more focused effort than in the past to invite alumni and community members to sing, and have received quite a response." The choir of about 145 voices includes 90 students, 50 from Bryn Mawr and 40 from Haverford; 13 alumnae of Bryn Mawr and seven Haverford graduates; 10 members of the Bucks County Choral Society, which is also directed by Lloyd; and 15 other community members, including Bi-Co staff and faculty members.

"The students have been especially enthusiastic about the growth in numbers of alumni and community singers," Lloyd says. "Chorale is increasingly an opportunity for students to connect in a personal way to the 'outside world' through alums and community members, all sharing in the recreation of great music."

As the inclusiveness of the chorale increases, the group takes on a work that was intended by its composer to be religiously inclusive. Rather than adhering to any particular liturgical framework, Brahms selected his own Biblical texts, avoiding passages that explicitly invoked the name of Jesus. "This," says Lloyd, "may have reflected his concern about the growing anti-Semitism in the Vienna of his day and his closeness to a number of Jewish musicians."

According to Lloyd, the Brahms Requiem is an unusual example of the genre in that Brahms wrote it "not as an old man drawing on the wisdom of maturity, but a young man in his twenties, almost unknown and at the beginning of his career as a composer." Although the piece contains many passages that express grief and struggle, Lloyd says, the preponderance of the music expresses consolation and celebration of faith that "one's life and labor are ultimately not in vain."


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