Requiem masses honor and celebrate life, and the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale, Valley College Philharmonic Choir, Kadima String Quartet and orchestra did just that in their performance Saturday night at Pierce College. Energetic, emotional and full of life, the chorale and music performers offered robust, moving music.
Conductor Terry Danne brought a rich, warm sound to the combined choirs, drawing fine performances from the soloists as well. The choir elegantly blended voices and tones, aided by the strong, confident playing of the musicians. The Kadima String Quartet gave a playful, passionate, warm performance as well.
The concert began with Igor Stravinsky’s challenging polytonal mass, which features haunting music in different keys for the blended male and female voices. It resulted in an odd, intimate but beautiful, sound often brought into harmony at the ends of movements. The music seemed very chant-like and delicate, aided by the very simple orchestration for wind instruments.
Schubert’s Mass in Eb featured the combined performances of all groups in a dramatic, monumental fashion. The mass started very high and grew even more intense as it progressed. Romantic, beautiful music, the piece contained a warm, yummy sound that ended in heroic fashion.
The audience even witnessed an excellent timpani pinch-hitting performance from a concert attendee and drum player, as the percussionist suffered a flat tire on the way to the performance.
The San Fernando Valley Master Chorale performed Schubert’s “Mass in Eb” Saturday night, April 18, at Theatre on the Hill on the Pierce College Campus in Woodland Hills at 8pm.