Article Published: Oct. 25, 2012 | Modified: Oct. 29, 2012
St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church will celebrate the Feast of All Souls with a full choral mass, featuring the “Requiem in D Minor” by Gabriel Fauré on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m. in the nave of the church.
According to St. Mary’s, “Requiem masses celebrate the lives of those who have died and express our hope for eternal rest for the souls of the departed.”
Fauré’s composition is one of the world’s most beloved settings of the “Requiem,” One reason for the beauty and loving intensity of the work may be that Fauré began work on the “Requiem” in 1885, following the death of his father; by the time of the first performance, his mother had also died.
It stands in striking contrast with other well-known, operatic “Requiem” masses by Berlioz and Verdi that were composed during the same period, and to masses that focus on judgment and fear. Fauré, himself, is quoted by a biographer as saying that his mass reflects his own gentle nature, saying, “It is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.”
This attitude is perhaps most clearly seen in the final section of the music, “In Paradisum,” which is literally a vision of the Kingdom of Heaven, sung primarily by a host of angelic sopranos.
The “Requiem” will be sung by the choir of St. Mary of the Hills as an integral part of the liturgy and will be accompanied by a small chamber orchestra and organ. Jonathan Shine, bass-baritone, and Amanda Silverman, soprano, are the soloists.
St. Mary’s is located on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock. For more information, call the church office at (828) 295-7323.