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Yale Choral Artists Perform Hannah Lash's "Requiem"



The "Western Canon", since its conception in the 19th century, has often aspired to the transcendence of music, drawing secular and "absolute" inspiration from often religious sources—embodied in the revival of figures like J.S. Bach, whose liturgical music joined these two worlds. Johannes Brahms, a major Bach scholar, decided in 1865 to rite a Requiem—a musical form that philologists had traced back to the 13th century (and earlier). But Brahms' Requiem, true to his secular and musical aspirations, was translated from Latin and sung in German, inheriting the text and form from liturgical tradition but attempting to universalize the form by making it secular. 

Hannah Lash echos this interest translation with her most recent work, a Requiem commissioned by Jeffrey Douma to be premiered by the Yale Choral Artists on September 24th in New Haven and September 25th in New York. Lash comments: "the interesting thing about this project is that I have no particular connection to the traditional Requiem text, so I found myself needing to rewrite it in such a way that it could beel more personal and more approachable to me." Lash's work sets texts of her own translation and interpretation, once again bridging the liturgical inheritance of the Requiem form and purpose into a new century of art music. 

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