This piece of music, considered to be “one of the supreme artistic achievements of all time”, holds a special place with me. It provides an connection with my late father, Lorry E. Rytting, who loved the piece dearly. The first two movements remind me of my childhood home, and even as teenager when my Dad played this, I recognized it as something beyond this world. When he passed and his body left our home, we played it in it’s entirety, and I listened along my beloved family.

What I didn’t expect was a new connection with the 2-7 movements. With this performance, I was able to hear the music almost for the first time. The First soloist Michael Chipman was so involved in the performance, and he took me right there. I really was able to focus on his intensity and I was enthralled – surprising as I don’t usually connect with vocal performances. He set the stage for the section following his solo, where the chorus of voices and orchestra take journey through resolution after resolution, stacking up through a series of major and minor tonalities, completely unpredictable but somehow making perfect sense like Science or God. Certainly something bigger than me.

The rest of the performance kept me completely engaged, and I felt so lucky to be hearing these notes again, but this time with different perspective and more appreciation. It was a one of the most impactful performances i’ve seen in the past 2 years.

UCA performs Brahms German Requiem