THREE UNIVERSITY MUSIC DEPARTMENTS & TWO BLOEMFONTEIN CHOIRS COLLABORATE TO PRESENT MOZART’S REQUIEM
Three of our students, soprano Thembinkosi Magagula, tenor Bongani Mthombeni and baritone Tshilidzi Ndou, will be performing solos in Mozart’s famous Requiem in D minor (K626) at the 2017 VRYSTAAT ARTS FESTIVAL in the Anglican Cathedral of St Andrew and St Michael in Bloemfontein on July 22nd at 6pm.
The composer began work on the Requiem shortly before his death in 1791; it was completed by his student Franz Süssmayr. During his last years in Vienna, Mozart composed only three liturgical works; these are the Requiem, the Grosse Messe in C minor (K427, another unfinished masterpiece), and the brief motet Ave verum corpus. Unlike the major portion of his sacred oeuvre, which was written at an early age for the conservative Cathedral of Salzburg, the dramatic Requiem is stylistically far removed from the typical church music of his time.
The initiative for this performance came from Louis van der Watt, violin & viola pedagogue, orchestral & choral conductor, and Head of String Studies at the Music Department of the University of Stellenbosch. Van der Watt, a polymath Kovsie alumnus (as a student he was chairman of the University Choir and a member of the Free State Symphony Orchestra), approached cantando@bloem (directed by Werner Stander, a choral conductor and music educator) as well as the Cathedral Singers (directed by Lance Phillip, a lecturer in composition, choral studies and musicology at the Odeion School of Music). The OSM CAMERATA, the flagship orchestral ensemble of the Odeion School of Music (directed by Xavier Cloete) was also invited to join the choral forces. Louis van der Watt will conduct the Requiem.
Due to the involvement of OSM singing students & staff in an opera production of Cavalleria Rusticana in collaboration with Free State Symphony Orchestra, it was decided to engage three sought-after singers from the School of Music of the North West University to sing the solos in the Requiem. They are soprano Thembinkosi Magagula (a student of Dr Santisa Viljoen), tenor Bongani Mthombeni and baritone Tshilidzi Ndou (students of Dr Conroy Cupido). Mezzo-soprano Matildie Thom Wium (a musicologist and Academic Head of the Odeion of School of Music) will complete the quartet of soloists.
This rendition of the Mozart’s Requiem promises to be a most moving reading of the composer’s final sacred masterpiece.