Robert Moran: Trinity Requiem

Robert Moran: Trinity Requiem

by Robert Ridgell
4.0 2


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Robert Moran: Trinity Requiem

When conductor Robert Ridgell approached Robert Moran requesting a Requiem written for the Trinity Youth Choir of Lower Manhattan in honor of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the composer was initially hesitant, but eventually agreed and the result is "Trinity Requiem." He has admirably hurdled the challenges of the commission, writing a piece with vocal parts that can be managed by children, but with enough musical substance not to trivialize the event it memorializes. Moran is a genuine eclectic whose output includes massive avant-garde projects like a piece written for 40 church choirs, 20 marching bands, and virtually every willing performer from an entire medium-sized American city, and a piece for 39 automobile horns and their lights, radio and television stations, dancers, airplanes, and again, just about anyone willing to make a contribution to the whole. He also has a gift for understated lyricism, which he puts to excellent use in the "Requiem." The children's parts are simple and the harmonic language is tonal, and with the addition of an organ and accompanying instrumental ensemble playing music of more complexity he creates a work of real power and depth, as well as some magically delicate sonorities. It's a radiant, altogether lovely work that should be within the performing capabilities of many community or church children's choirs. The album also includes two of Moran's previously released choral works, "Seven Sounds Unseen" performed by Musica Sacra led by Richard Westenburg and "Notturno in Weiss" sung by the Esoterics led by Eric Banks. They both convey the tone of hushed awe and mystery characteristic of the "Requiem." The extended middle section of "Seven Sounds Unseen" (which uses a text by John Cage) is especially gorgeous, a luminous harmonic cloud that's harmonically static but that's animated by the leisurely drift of constantly morphing textures and vocal lines. The sound quality is variable and some of the changes in ambience between sections of the "Requiem" are distracting. The album should be of special interest to fans of lyrical new choral music.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/06/2011
Label: Innova Records
UPC: 0726708624422
catalogNumber: 244
Rank: 239650

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robert Ridgell   Primary Artist,Conductor
Melissa Walsh   Harp
Eric Banks   Choir Director
Jennifer Hoult   Harp
Robert Westenberg   Conductor
Veronica Parrales   Cello
Musica Sacra   Choir, Chorus
Sarah Wolfe   Cello
Esoterics   Choir, Chorus
Trinity Youth Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Trinity Wall Street   Group
Members of Trinity Choir   Choir, Chorus
Miho Zaitsu   Cello
Aminda Asher   Cello
Alexis Odell   Harp
Alexander Hermann   Organ

Technical Credits

Robert Moran   Composer,Liner Notes
Philip Blackburn   Director,Remix Arrangement
Anthony Salvatore   Engineer
Eric Banks   Text Translation
André Gauthier   Producer
Tom Durak   Engineer
Brian Fairbanks   Producer
Rick Lyman   Engineer
Leonard G. Manchess   Engineer
Christian Morgenstern   Text
Linda Hanick   Executive Producer

Customer Reviews

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Robert Moran: Trinity Requiem 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
JimD More than 1 year ago
I really tried to like this disc, but I played the "Trinity Requiem" through twice before deciding it does nothing for me. This contemporary take on an ancient text needs to make its impact independently of its association with the September 11 attack; instead it only produces a succession of vaguely pretty sounds. The Kyrie is numbingly repetitious, rambling on for nearly 5 minutes in search of a melody. During the instrumental Offertory, a siren can be heard in the street outside--in the spirit of "found music," the producers decided to leave it in. I don't think it adds anything except a distraction. The children are rather distantly recorded; consequently, the words don't come over as they ought (and they are not to be found in the booklet). "Seven Sounds Unseen" and "Notturno in Weiss" are more of the same, for mixed adult voices, which at least provide more harmonic color. I admit I am not the best audience for minimalist music; others may be more receptive.
RGraves321 More than 1 year ago
Sometimes occasional pieces are just that ¿ music written for a specific event, but have no life beyond it. (Richard Wagner¿s ¿American Centennial March,¿ for example) But then there are other works that speak to audiences not just gathered for the event, but those in other places and other times. Robert Moran¿s Trinity Requiem is just such a work. This quiet, ethereal piece was composed for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Commissioned by Trinity Wall Street, which stood in the shadow of the World Trade Center, the composition is a serene, almost disembodied contemplation on the words of the requiem mass. It bears some semblance to Arvo Part¿s suspension-of-time music, but with a more identifiable tonal center. The quotation of Pachelbel¿s Canon in the middle is a risky move ¿ in the wrong hands it could sound trite ¿ but Moran pulls it off. Somehow it adds to the otherworldly sorrow expresses by the music. While written for a specific event, the Trinity Requiem transcends its origins. This is music that should be heard whenever people need solace from tragedy. The Trinity Youth Chorus, supported by adult members of the Trinity Choir sing with sure technique and firm conviction that help gives the requiem its emotional power.