A reduced ‘ Requiem’

The New Vocal Ensemble will perform a choral rendition of Verdi’s masterpiece.

November 20, 2014 09:55
2 minute read.
The New Vocal Ensemble

The New Vocal Ensemble will perform a choral rendition of Verdi’s masterpiece.. (photo credit: PR)

‘Verdi’s Requiem is traditionally seen as a larger-thanlife piece,” says Yuval Ben-Ozer, music director of the New Vocal Ensemble, which will perform the masterpiece as a chamber vocal ensemble next week. “It is usually performed by a powerful orchestra and choir, as well as soloists, in huge concert halls filled to capacity.

But in addition to being a major opera composer, Verdi was an Italian who was brought up in the Catholic tradition, and he knew Italian Catholic music very well. So when you look at the score, you realize that the operatic element in his grandiose piece belongs to the orchestra and the soloists, but not to the choir. The reduced version of the score allows us to perform Verdi’s Requiem by our choir of 24 with the soloists [who come from the Israeli Opera Studio] and a fivemember instrumental ensemble. This is a far more intimate version that accentuates the part of the choir.”

Speaking about his ensemble, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, Ben-Ozer says that if asked to define the group in one phrase, he would simply call it “a professional chamber choir.”

He recalls when the choir started 20 years ago as a group of 10 enthusiasts, who gave their first concert in Tel Aviv a year later to great success. Over the years, the orchestra has won recognition both at home and abroad.

Today, it presents up to 50 concerts a year, collaborates with many local orchestras and has been running its own series at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art for the past 15 years.

As for the upcoming season’s program, Ben- Ozer says that “just like many other music ensembles, including major orchestras, variety is the name of the game. So after Verdi’s Requiem, our audiences will enjoy Hollywood music. Then the Song of the Songs follows – a musical journey through time. The concert is dedicated to love songs from the Renaissance to today.

This will be followed by a concert of Israeli songs, which will close yet another season,” he says.

The New Vocal Ensemble under Yuval Ben-Ozer will perform Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ on November 25 at 8:30 p.m. at the Ra’anana Performing Arts Center (for reservations: (09) 746- 4036); November 29 at 1 p.m. at Haifa’s Orthodox Church (Tel: (04) 836- 3804); and December 5 at 1 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Tel: (03) 607-70202 or *3221)

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