Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dance of Death in Northern KY

Franz Liszt's Totentanz ("Dance of Death")is a symphonic piece for piano and orchestra, based on the Gregorian plainchant melody Dies Irae, but with dynamic stylistic innovations that approach atonal avant-garde. Liszt began work on the piece in 1838 and completed it in 1849; then tweaked it further in subsequent years.

Michael Chertock, faculty member at UC's College-Conservatory of Music, will perform "Totentanz" on piano with James R. Cassidy and the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra this weekend:

  • 8 p.m. Saturday at Florence Baptist Church at Mount Zion

  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington.

    This Gregorian Chant-inspired program also includes Requiem by Maurice Duruflé, featuring the KSO Chorale and the Cincinnati Choral Society. Duruflé wrote it in 1947 as a tribute to his father. The piece, composed for mixed choir with mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists, exists in three different orchestrations: one for organ alone, one for organ with string orchestra, and one for organ and full orchestra.

    Also on the bill for the evening: Aaron Jay Kernis’ Musica Celestis, inspired by the fascinating life of the 12th-century clairvoyant Hildegard von Bingen (pictured above). Hildegard is described by Wikipedia as "a Christian mystic, German Benedictine abbess, author, counselor, linguist, naturalist, scientist, philosopher, physician, herbalist, poet, channeller, visionary, composer, and polymath."

    Tickets are $28 for A section seating and $23 for B section seating. B Section seating is further discounted for Seniors ($18) and students ($10). 859-431-6216 or visit the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra's website.
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