The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra's concert on March 31, 2012 will be highlighted by the performance of Faure's Requiem. Despite changes to the orchestration of the work to incorporate a full orchestra three years after its debut in Paris, the TSO will present the piece in its original format. When composing his Requiem, Faure set out to “write something different.” In contrast to the Requiems composed by Mozart and Verdi, which featured full orchestras and choirs, Faure's setting of this traditional Catholic Mass is orchestrated for mixed choir and various solo instruments. The TSO's arrangement features solo parts for violin, harp, cello and French horn.
Faure's Requiem also differs from the settings produced by Mozart are Verdi because of how Faure wanted to portray death. Faure said of his work, “Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.” In the context of the Requiem Mass, this is a departure from the conventional approach to death which was one of pain and mourning.
While Faure's Requiem certainly highlights the TSO's upcoming concert, they will also be presenting music from contemporary composers Morten Lauridsen a native of Colfax, Washington, Mary McDonald, James Erb, and 2012 Grammy winner Eric Whitacre. The concert will conclude with Erb's wonderful setting of the the traditional American folk-song Shenandoah.