Verdi's Requiem with Tedor Currentzis at The Shed
New Views on a Great Work
By: Susan Hall - Nov 14, 2019
The Shed is presenting Verdi's Requiem conducted by the young phenom Teodor Currentzis with a 100-member orchestra and an 80-member choir. The performances mark Currentzis' and the chorus' North American debuts.
A new cinematic artwork set to Verdi’s score by late, beloved filmmaker Jonas Mekas, and co-commissioned by The Shed and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, accompany the performances of Requiem. The film is an emotional response to Verdi’s masterpiece by a filmmaker who always listened to music. Mekas died in January at the age of 96.
If the performance of the Requiem in any way shocks as the film did, it should be a revelatory experience. Blossom after blossom appears on screen. Colors of the rainbow and more are sitting still for contemplation. They then waver in soft winds like the gorgeous sounds of the Requiem performed by musicAeterna and conducted by Currentzis. Ellie Burchill, long-time collaborator with Mekas, edited the film. It suits music and moods perfectly. You have to give yourself over the film. It may not be your way of appreciating this work, which sits high on the list of great musical works of all time. If you can enter the blossoms, and the storms, you can see that Mekas' reaction is not that different from yours. That may be surprising since he has always been considered a fringe artist. He considered himself a poet and read the work of Alfred Manzoni, whose death prompted Verdi to complete the Requiem.
At The Shed November 19-24, 2019.