Fauré Requiem and Robert Kyr’s The Cloud of Unknowing

Saturday, February 3, at 7:00 p.m.
Woodford’s Congregational Church, Portland
Sunday, February 4, at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brunswick

Emily Isaacson, Chorale artistic director, will lead the chorus and the DaPonte String Quartet in its first collaboration with the Oratorio Chorale. Composer Robert Kyr will be in residence with the Chorale during the concert week and will attend rehearsals and the concerts. Soloists are GRAMMY award-winning soprano Estelí Gomez and Austin-Critic Circle award winner baritone David Farwig.

Advance tickets ($20 adults, $10 student, free for children under 12) are available through Brown Paper Tickets at brownpapertickets.com/profile/1143574 or by phone at 1-800-838-3006.

 Fauré Requiem
Gabriel Fauré composed his Requiem in D minor between 1887 and 1890 as a work for chorus, soloists, and strings, and revised it further in 1900 as a work for full orchestra for performances in large concert halls. This setting of a shortened Latin Mass for the Dead is the best-known of Fauré’s large works. He himself wrote of the work: “Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a vision of eternal rest.” The Requiem was performed at Fauré’s own funeral in Paris in 1924.

Robert Kyr’s The Cloud of Unknowing
The Cloud of Unknowing is a choral setting of texts by the 16th-century mystic St. Teresa of Avila, with additional excerpts from the Psalms and from a 14th-century guide to contemplation. The songs explore the relationship between human and divine love. The music is scored for soprano and baritone soloists, mixed chorus, and strings.

Contemporary reviews of The Cloud of Unknowing include:

  • “A powerful new achievement in American music that vividly traces a journey from despair to transcendence.” The Wall Street Journal, concert review
  • “Beautiful music magnificently done.” Buffalo News, CD review

About Robert Kyr
Robert Kyr (b. 1952) is a composer, writer, and filmmaker. He has created twelve symphonies, three chamber symphonies, three violin concerti, chamber music, and a wide range of works for vocal ensembles of all types. He has received commissions from numerous music organizations including choruses and symphonies across the U.S. as well as ensembles in Scotland, Estonia, Latvia, and Russia. His music has been supported through many foundations and organizations; The Cloud of Unknowing was funded in part by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

Kyr is currently Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of Oregon School of Music. In addition to teaching, Kyr directs the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, the Music Today Festival, the Pacific Rim Gamelan, and the Vanguard Concert and Series.

The DaPonte String Quartet
The DaPonte String Quartet has been an integral part of the Maine musical world for over 20 years. Originally formed in Philadelphia, the group moved to rural Maine but is sought after to perform and teach all over the U.S. and abroad. They have received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society, the Music Teachers National Association, Chamber Music America, and have participated in several of the nation’s most prestigious concert series to rave reviews. Musicians include violinist Ferdinand “Dino” Liva, violinist Lydia Forbes, cellist Myles Jordan, and violist Kirsten Monke.

Concert Soloists
GRAMMY award-winning soprano Estelí Gomez
Austin-Critic Circle award winnter baritone David Farwig

Concert support provided by Season Underwriters Diversified Asset Planners, New England Cancer Medicine, Penmor Lithographers, and Winxnet; Season Sponsors Androscoggin Bank and HeadInvest; Partner The Highlands; and Concert Sponsor Spinnaker Trust; with additional funding from the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust.