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Patricia Van Ness
1951 -
United States of America
Picture Picture
P. Van Ness
Patricia Van Ness (1951), a female American composer, violinist, and poet. She draws upon elements of medieval and Renaissance music to create a signature voice that has been hailed by musicians, audiences, and critics. She is Composer in Residence at First Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Peter Sykes, Music Director), and has been an invited lecturer on her music at the Harvard University Department of Music and at Boston University's Core Curriculum Program.
Requiem
Period:21st century
Composed in:2003
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass + English poem by the composer
In memory of:Julie Ince Thompson
This Requiem for chorus, baritone solo, two violins, viola, cello, bass and oboe, contains:
- Introit
- Kyrie
- Domine
- Sanctus
- Pie Jesu
- Lux aeterna
- Libera me and The Comforter (text by Patricia Van Ness)
- Paradisum
The completed work was dedicated to the memory of the composer's friend, Boston choreographer and dancer Julie Ince Thompson (1951-2003). According to the composer, it had always been her intention to do a requiem of consolation and, although it had been commissioned long before, the evolution of the piece was profoundly shaped by her friend’s death. During the year she gave herself to write it, Van Ness was moving through the process of grieving.
The chorus walked through this process with her. They did a read-through at the beginning of the summer, when the piece was two thirds finished. As a result of what she heard, and feedback from David Hodgkins and accompanist Darryl Hollister, the work “changed dramatically.” At that point, says Van Ness, she also “turned a corner in her grieving.” The Requiem became more joyous, less dark. It was then, for example, that all the soprano voices at the beginning of the piece were added.
Modifications continued through the first rehearsal in September. Coro Allegro tenor and Choral Arts supporter John Kefferstan remembers this well. As a singer, he was fascinated by this dialogue which, in a very real sense, drew the singers into the creative process. On October 31, 2004, at the Church of the Covenant in Boston’s Back Bay, Coro Allegro and Sanford Sylvan premiered Requiem for chorus, baritone solo, two violins, viola, cello, bass and oboe.