The Korea Herald


Camarata to remember Sewol with requiem

By Korea Herald

Published : April 4, 2017 - 14:26

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Camarata Music Company will perform Durufle’s Requiem for its upcoming concert, choosing the modern remembrance piece in recognition of the victims of the Sewol ferry disaster.

Conductor Ryan Goessl said he chose the piece as the concert coincided with the anniversary of the sinking, explaining that it layered expressive Gregorian-style chant and solos against an intricately delicate orchestral score.

The Camarata Chorale and Orchestra (CMC) The Camarata Chorale and Orchestra (CMC)

The piece will be performed along with Schubert’s Mass in G Major, and Lussier’s “Bacchanale,” featuring Camarata musicians Danielle Lyle on flute, and Iraj Tamadon-Nejad on bassoon.

“(A requiem) was originally the mass that they did at funerals but also music was written to commemorate the lives that had been lost in various incidents,” said Goessl.

“So these days there are a lot of requiems performed in memory of disasters or some major crisis. (The sinking) was a very big event in Korea and we want to commemorate everybody that lost their lives on that day.

The concert will be performed with an organist by the Camarata Chorale and the Camarata Orchestra -- both groups with musicians from dozens of countries. They will be joined by members of Ars Nova -- an orchestra of musicians that studied in Germany.

“Durufle himself was an organist, so the organ is pretty prominent throughout the entire piece,” said Goessl, explaining that the French composer wrote three versions -- one with organ accompaniment, one with full orchestra and one with organ and reduced orchestra.

“We are doing the one with a reduced orchestra, which is actually the way that Durufle preferred it.”

“Right before he did this, he was heavily studying Gregorian Chant, so that had a major influence on his requiem,” said Goessl.

“So you can hear a lot of Gregorian chant in it along with a lot of modern-day type music.”

“Honestly it’s my favorite composition. It’s my favorite requiem that has ever been written and I think it’s a hauntingly beautiful piece.”

The Camarata Chorale and Orchestra (CMC) The Camarata Chorale and Orchestra (CMC)

While modern choral music might be a little intimidating for the casual listener -- as Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra’s composer-in-residence Unsuk Chin acknowledged recently -- Goessl said this piece was very accessible.

“What it does is it combines the Gregorian chant of many years ago along with 20th century classical music. So you can hear elements of both throughout the piece and I think it gives the listener a good appreciation for (more modern styles).”

The concert starts 7 p.m. at Shinchon Sungkyul Church in Seoul. To get there, leave Sinchon Station Exit 8 and turn left at Hanaro Mart.

Tickets are 25,000 in advance, or 30,000 won at the door. For tickets, visit

By Paul Kerry (