The combined voices of the UNLV Concert Singers and Chamber join forces with the University Symphony Orchestra for an evening of masterworks at 7:30pm on Tuesday, Nov. 26 in Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, located on the northeast end of the university campus. This performance features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem” and “Symphony #38.” Taras Krysa and David Weiller and share the conductor’s podium. Guest soloists are Lillian Roberts, soprano; Stephanie Weiss, mezzo-soprano; William McCullough, tenor; and Nathan Van Arsdale, bass.
Mozart’s Symphony #38 in D Major, otherwise known as the “Prague” Symphony, made its debut in the Bohemian capital to an enthusiastic audience in January of 1787. Mozart wrote all three movements in sonata-allegro form, a procedure usually reserved only for the first movements of classical symphonies. This caused the work to be quite shocking to listeners of that time. The entire work is cheerful and boisterous.
The Mozart “Requiem” has been surrounded for over 200 years by scholarly research, reasonable speculation, and rampant rumor. It is a very popular work today, due in part to the notoriety gained form the stage and film versions of “Amadeus” which describes Mozart’s life and final days. Unfinished at the time of the composer’s death in 1791, several musicians attempted to complete the work based upon Mozart’s sketches and instructions. Franz Süssmayer, Mozart’s former pupil and assistant, completed one of the most commonly heard versions. The UNLV performance, however, uses a score published in the 1970s by Bavarian scholar Franz Beyer who altered elements of the orchestration with the hope of presenting “more Mozart and less Süssmayr.” The Requiem remains a masterwork in its deeply dramatic depiction of the human spirit struggling with the eternal mysteries of life, death and redemption.
The UNLV choirs enjoy a reputation for vibrant performances. The singers recently were praised for a concert described as “…glorious, yet disciplined. The choruses performed with unaffected charisma.” Annual tours have encompassed the southwestern United States as well as Hawaii, New York, Mexico, and Canada. The UNLV Symphony Orchestra presents as many as eight programs each season including a variety of standard symphonic orchestral repertoire, ranging from early Baroque through modern contemporary, and one complete staged opera.
Tickets for the November 26 concert may be purchased at the UNLV Performing Arts Center box office or by calling 895-ARTS. General admission is $10; senior citizens, military and UNLV faculty/staff tickets are $8. Students from the university and the Clark County School District may receive one free ticket by presenting valid student identification at the box office.