Good Friday in Morristown: A heavenly Requiem inspired by the Space Station

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Morristown offered some striking juxtapositions on Good Friday.

While Catholics were flogging Jesus in a stark re-enactment of the crucifixion, Presbyterians a block away were exploring the promise of Easter with an ethereal concert.

Conducted by Matthew Webb, the Chancel Choir and Orchestra of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown performed the haunting second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, followed by Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living.

Requiems usually are prayers for the dead. But Forrest said he was just as concerned with the living, “and their own struggle with pain and sorrow,” in this 2013 work.

The Chancel Choir and Orchestra of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown perform 'Requiem for the Living,' on Good Friday 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
The Chancel Choir and Orchestra of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown perform ‘Requiem for the Living,’ on Good Friday 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The Sanctus movement above considers the glory of heaven and earth from three perspectives: Distant images from the Hubble Space Telescope, views of earth from the International Space Station, and cities bustling with life.

Lux Aeterna, the closing movement below, “portrays light, peace and rest–for both the deceased and the living,” the composer says in the program notes.

Video: Lux Aeterna from ‘Requiem for the Living’:

 

 

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