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Nashoba Valley Chorale celebrates 30 years with Brahms ‘German Requiem’ on May 6

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LITTLETON — To conclude their 30th anniversary season, the Nashoba Valley Chorale will perform Brahms’ “A German Requiem” at Littleton High School Arts Center on May 6. They will be accompanied by a full orchestra and will team up with the Braintree Choral Society.

Director Justin Smith says of the German Requiem, “Brahms’ overwhelmingly emotional and transcendent works offers a note of consolation to the living who mourn the dead and humankind’s struggle to come to terms with our own mortality. Whereas most Requiems focus on the souls of the departed, Brahms instead conveys a timeless message of comfort, peace and hope, and directs it towards the living instead of the dead. His decision to avoid the formal Latin text and to set text in the vernacular of his day (that is, German) was a bold step that only heightens the communicative power of the piece. Hearing the German Requiem performed live with 90 voices and a 40-piece orchestra is truly a memorable and moving experience not to be missed.”

The concert will also feature two shorter works: Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasia” and Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum.”

The chorale will also give the world’s first performance of Cherise Leiter’s “Three Songs for the Soul.” Jointly commissioned by the Braintree Choral Society and the Nashoba Valley Chorale, Leiter’s piece is a short setting of three poems by Walt Whitman for large chorus, piano and solo oboe. The three Whitman poems take as their subject the transcendent power of death, a theme explored in detail by Brahms in his Requiem.

Performances will take place Saturday, May 6, at Littleton High School, 56 King Street, Littleton; and Sunday, May 7, in South Weymouth, Mass. Tickets for adults are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and for children and seniors, $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets maybe be purchased online in advance.

For more information about the concert and the chorale, please visit www.nashobachorale.org. For contacting local chorale members, contact Linda Crewe of Pepperell at (978) 433-9753, or David Gordon of Groton at (978) 433-3706.

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