WQXR is a media sponsor of Voices of Ascension's concert at the Church of Ascension on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:00 pm.
After 11 years, they return to the Ein Deutsches Requiem of Johannes Brahms. Unlike the Requiems of Mozart, Verdi and others, Brahms abandoned the Latin Mass for the Dead and constructed his own collection of texts from the Bible, in his native tongue. In doing so, his German Requiem offers something different from all the others: it is a work of consolation for those left behind. For this performance Voices of Ascension will be using Brahms' own four-hand piano version. This version was heard at the first London performance in 1871 and at many other performances during Brahms's lifetime. The concert will begin with another masterpiece, this one for piano solo: the Sonata No. 32 in C Minor; Op. 111 by Ludwig van Beethoven, played by Anna Shelest. In contrast to the very human qualities of the Brahms, Beethoven's Sonata, Op. 111 is a work of a composer, near the end of his life, whose mind has already entered into another world. This remarkable, seemingly abstract work pulls us, little by little, into Beethoven's immense, timeless version. It will be a profound experience to hear this great work in the acoustics of Ascension, and then to enter into the warmth and humanity of Brahms. Soloists include Soprano Martha Guth and Baritone Richard Zeller.