Interested in hearing a rarely-performed large-scale choral work from the early 19th century? Here’s your chance to hear Anton Reicha’s Missa pro defunctis (Requiem). The Stanford Symphonic Chorus and Peninsula Symphony will be performing it this weekend, together with excerpts from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Performances are Friday, November 20 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, November 22 at 1:30 pm in Stanford Memorial Church. Stephen Sano will conduct the Reicha, and Mitchell Sardou Klein will conduct the Bach. Soloists include the fabulous Wendy Hillhouse, who we heard singing Henry Cowell last week. Tickets are available online or at the door.
This will be the premiere of a new performing edition of the Reicha prepared by Dr. Amy Goodman Weller for her Stanford Ph.D. dissertation. Reicha was a contemporary and friend of Beethoven. He is best known today for his wind quintets and his teaching of composers including Liszt and Berlioz. Reicha was a counterpoint professor, and this work is loaded with fugues. It concludes with a fabulous double fugue on “Cum sanctis” that Reicha used as an example of choral fugal writing in his Traité de haute composition musicale. That fugue is my favorite part of the work, with a highly syncopated Lacrimosa close behind. I’ll be singing in the tenor section, up front and center in the chorus.