Local musicians to celebrate Mozart, life & love

Cantaré Vocal Ensemble and the Rainier Symphony Chamber Orchestra (RSCO) will celebrate Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on his 250th birthday with a performance of the composer's last choral work, "Requiem," on Friday, Jan. 27.

"The 'Requiem' is certainly one of his best-known and best-loved works," said Mark Adrian, conductor of Cantaré Vocal Ensemble. "It's just one of my favorite pieces."

The performance will feature mezzo-soprano Stacey Sunde, tenor Gary Cannon, soprano Frances Eisenman and baritone David Rickard.

The concert marks Sunde's debut with Cantaré Vocal Ensemble, as well as her first time performing Mozart's "Requiem" outside of a liturgy. Sunde is a cantor and conductor of the youth choirs at St. James Cathedral on First Hill, and a music teacher at St. Catherine's School in North Seattle.

"I'm definitely enjoying doing the solo quartet work," she said. "It has a very different feel when it goes consecutively from beginning to end."

Sunde will travel to Italy with the Cathedral Choir at St. James in mid-March, singing in a special concert for the pope, as well as a performance for the general public at St. Peter's.

"It's fun to be part of the larger choral texture and suddenly be part of a quartet," said Cannon, a Northgate resident who also sings regularly with the Tudor Choir.

"[Requiem] is a piece of music that is filled with a vast amount of emotion," added Rickard, a Haller Lake resident who has sung with Cantaré Vocal Ensemble for six years.

"It's an incredible piece to perform, knowing that it was something Mozart was desperately trying to finish before he died," agreed David Waltman, RSCO's conductor, adding that "Requiem" was ultimately completed by composer Franz Sussmayr.

In addition to the performance of "Requiem," the concert also will feature the Rainier Symphony Chamber Orchestra performing "Mozart's Symphony No. 41 in C (Jupiter)," the composer's last symphony.

"This was certainly Mozart's biggest symphonic achievement," Waltman said. "It was definitely beyond the other symphonies he wrote, in scope and design."

A more suitable venue for Mozart

Rather than having the concert at St. Catherine's, the vocal ensemble's usual venue, the concert will take place at Blessed Sacrament Church, 5041 Ninth Ave. N.E.

"The acoustics of that church should be pretty close to what Mozart had in mind," Adrian said.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. Call 246-6040 or visit www.nwassociated arts.org for more information.

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A song that University District resident Rich Hinrichsen wrote in memory of his younger brother has inspired the upcoming concert "I'll Love You Always: A Musical Valen-tine," at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall on Feb. 10.

Proceeds from the concert will support Lifelong AIDS Alliance's programs and services.

"It's a dream of mine that I've had for many years," Hinrichsen said.

Hinrichsen lost his brother to AIDS in 1993, the same year his wife, Catherine, lost her brother to AIDS. The couple met at a Seattle AIDS support group.

"In some ways, we have to relive losing our brothers every day," Catherine said. "We feel them with us now more than ever."

A tribute to love

The show will reunite most of the musicians who recorded the song "I'll Love You Always" at Triad Studios in Redmond last December. Like the song, the concert will mix a variety of musical styles, including classical, pop, jazz and rhythm and blues.

"I think it's going to expose people to musical styles they might not otherwise seek out on their own," Catherine said.

Those scheduled to perform at the concert include Ravenna classical guitarist and guitar teacher John Paul Shields; vocalist Shanna Anjali, a recent Snohomish High School graduate who has sung at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival; world-renowned pianist William Chapman Nyaho, who was raised in Ghana, West Africa; the Reuel Lubag Trio; the Mosaic Brass Quintet; and sax and flute player Jack Klitzman.

The musicians will pay tribute to romance, but audience members should also expect some surprises. Shields will perform a ballad from the Renaissance, as well as some pieces by Francisco Tarrega. Shields also will perform his own composition, "A Grandfather's Memoir," a tribute to his late grandfather.

"Oftentimes, romantic love is played up for an event, but there are all sorts of connotations with love," Shields said. "Love is a very complex endeavor, it's not just romance."

After playing their own sets, all of the artists will reunite on stage for the grand finale performance of "I'll Love You Always."

"It's really a dedication of love. That's the way I see the whole song," Hinrichsen said. "It's a very special song to me."

A concert preview

For those interested in a preview of the concert, Shields and Anjali will perform some of the songs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at World Cup Espresso and Wine, 5200 Roosevelt Way N.E., in the University District.

"I'll Love You Always: A Musical Valentine," will take place on Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St. The cost is $20. For concert tickets, call 292-ARTS or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

Madres Kitchen and Intrigue Chocolates, based in Maple Leaf, are donating gift boxes of truffles for giveaways at the show.

Jessica Davis can be reached via e-mail at needitor@nwlink.com.

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