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Classical 101

Mozart's Requiem for JFK

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ADAM- HAS A 10-MINUTE AUDIO PIECE [caption id="attachment_1797" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Jacqueline Kennedy with Cardinal Cushing"][/caption] Mozart's Requiem was sung in context of a High Requiem Mass celebrated by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston on January 19, 1964. Erich Leinsdorf conducted the Boston Symphony and the Chorus ProMusica (Alfred Nash Patterson, conductor). The soloists were Saramae Endich, soprano, Eunice Alberts, contralto, Nicholas di Virgilio, tenor, and Mac Morgan, bass. Jacqueline Kennedy attended in her first public appearance since the president's funeral, as did the rest of the Kennedy family. The mass was televised live. I remember at age seven my parents watching it, rosary beads and 4 roses all going full blast. I was probably across the street sledding down Fairlawn Hill. I do remember very clearly as a second grader November 22. We were all sent home from school early and that night you were lucky if you got a peanut butter sandwich, this was Boston and November 22 was a Friday. RCA Red Seal published this performance on 2 LPs as a commemorative issue. Twenty years ago I found a battered copy in my grandparents' basement in Arlington, MA. The recording included all of the music, plus the mass as celebrated by Cardinal Cushing and the chants and responses sung by the Seminarians at St. John's. I don't know a church in the world where you could hear the service sung like this today. I later studied at BU with the wonderful Mac Morgan. He told me Cardinal Cushing took a few nips from a hip flask during the long morning. Mac envied him that! The Cardinal later told the press, "Don't I have a lot of nerve singing with those people?" Even without the liturgy and occasion, I love this huge, dark and magisterial performance. My LPs were worn down and unplayable. A friend did a restoration job for me. One of the LPS was so badly warped because he melted it in the oven! Here are the first ten minutes, the Introit and Kyrie from that day back in 1964. If there's any interest I'll post more of it another time. [audio:mozart_requiem.mp3] And here, added in August of 2010, is a brief clip from Youtube: [youtube YJdHQdU9f90 490 344]