Berkshire Lyric teams Mozart and Pärt for a concert at Ozawa Hall

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LENOX >> The 90-voice Berkshire Lyric Chorus will perform Mozart's Requiem at 3 p.m. Sunday at Tanglewood's Seiji Ozawa Hall.

The chorus will be accompanied by a full orchestra and joined by a quartet of soloists — Stockbridge native, soprano Maureen O'Flynn; mezzo-soprano and Richmond resident, Marjorie Dix; tenor Deryl Godshall in his Berkshire Lyric debut; and Berkshire Lyric resident vocal artist John Demier.

The chorus also will perform Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's Salve Regina.

The concert will open with Mozart's motet, "Ave Verum," performed by Blafield Children's Chorus and high school members of Berkshire Lyric's various ensembles.

Mozart's Requiem was his final opus as he was dying in 1791.

According to Berkshire Lyric artistic director Jack Brown, who will conduct the concert, "Pärt has been the world's most performed living classical composer over the last decade, but (he's) rarely heard in the Berkshires."

With regard to pairing Mozart and Pärt on the same program, Brown said in an email that he thought the two shared "something in common in terms of their musical language and aesthetic."

Quoting online program notes from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which is presenting a Mozart-Pärt festival this month, Brown said, "Both masters have a reputation for sonic purity and transparency ... music that unfolds naturally and effortlessly ... "

Brown also commented that, thanks to support from chorus members and local friends of Berkshire Lyric. this is the first time the organization has had the vocal manpower and financial wherewithal to produce a concert with a full orchestra.

"Ozawa Hall is one of the great concert halls in North America," Brown said in his email. "It is a cool thing that local musicians can perform there once a year. (It is costly) but we believe our singers and our audience should be able to claim it."

Founded in 1963 by Robert Blafield, Berkshire Lyric has been under Brown's artistic direction since 2007. In addition to Berkshire Lyric Chorus and Blafield Children's Chorus, Berkshire Lyric maintains two other chamber choruses for young singers — Melodious Accord, for high school girls, and Ubi Caritas, a select mixed a cappella group for singers age 16-26. Berkshire Lyric also operates a number of music education outreach programs.

Tickets may purchased in advance online at BerkshireLyricInfo.org; from chorus members; or at the Ozawa Hall gate before the concert.


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