By Heidi Trautmann
With my presentation of the Kyrenia
Chamber Choir and the musical event together with the Nicosia Municipality
Orchestra in the last issue I had opened the door to expectations and I will
now fill the space with my words of appreciation after I have been to the
concert on 25 October at the Bellapais Abbey.
Excitement was in the air when I
arrived, the choir members in their ‘uniform’ in black and blue still mixing with the crowd of
concert goers and the hall soon filled to the last seat, not one more chair
could have been squeezed in. Close to 500, I roughly counted.
With the first part of the concert
evening, Oskay Hoca and his orchestra opened the hearts with beautiful
orchestral works by T. Albinoni, J.S.Bach, K.Belevi, P. Tchaikovsky, A.Dvorak
and W.A. Mozart, softened our minds, a
good preparation for the main piece, Fauré’s Requiem. Close to me I recognized
K. Belevi, the composer of the ‘Valse’; he is a composer of guitar music and
his compositions are known internationally. Our readeers may remember the
guitar concert he gave at the Karmi Church two years ago.
For the second part of the concert,
the Requiem, the orchestra moved down to the level of the audience to make room
for the 27 members of the Kyrenia Chamber Choir. It was a nice feeling to be at
touch distance with the violins. Rauf Kasimov now joined the scene on the
organ, and George Ward, the director of the choir, took over the conductor’s
stand for orchestra and choir.
The very soft entry tunes of the
choir immediately created a mystic atmosphere which continued throughout all
seven movements, backed by the orchestra. It sounded like the wind going
through the foliage of trees, whispers of elves, not from this world, not
frightful but somehow soothing, then jubilant. I found an interpretation of
Fauré’s Requiem and it actually confirms my impression; Fauré himself said of his 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 very human feeling of
faith in eternal rest. It has been said that my Requiem does not express the
fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of
death. But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration
towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.”
For me, the Requiem speaks of the
eternal law of nature. Gabriel Fauré composed
the Requiem between 1887 and 1890 and it was premiered in its first version in
1888 in Paris.
Since I have been to the rehearsal
I know of the enormous effort to bring the orchestra and the choir together in
sound intensity, in tune and colour, I would say in the language of art,
because there are many tender passages to be sung, but the fears were
groundless, although I could see from my first row how George Ward was forcefully
holding the reins.
It was a full success, a feeling of
joy went through the audience; the choir with the two guest soloists have
wonderfully transported the message of Fauré’s Requiem.