Downers Grove Choral Society Presents the World Premiere of Kaddish

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The Downers Grove Choral Society and orchestra under Artistic Director Dr. John Rakes will perform the world premiere of Kaddish by Naperville composer Paul Scherer at the First United Methodist Church, 1032 Maple Ave., Downers Grove, Sunday May 1, 2016 at 4:00 PM.

“Through his music, Scherer has captured the universal messages of peace and solemn majestic praise that are found throughout this ancient prayer

The Downers Grove Choral Society and orchestra under Artistic Director Dr. John Rakes will perform the world premiere of Kaddish by Naperville composer Paul Scherer at the First United Methodist Church, 1032 Maple Ave., Downers Grove, Sunday May 1, 2016 at 4:00 PM.

The program, entitled Prayers of Remembrance pairs Scherer’s Kaddish with the powerful Mozart Requiem; two works bound by the theme of remembrance, as approached by two ancient faiths.

The program begins with Kaddish, a complete setting of one of the oldest and most sacred of Hebrew texts. While there are several forms of the Kaddish prayer, Scherer chose the Kaddish Yatom – the prayer traditionally recited to remember those whose lives we cherish in our memories.

In contrast to the Catholic Requiem, Kaddish Yatom is a celebration of the majesty of the Almighty, and Scherer has set the music to reflect the tone of the prayer.

“I conceived of the Kaddish setting several years ago as a means to honor my mother-in-law, a holocaust survivor,” Scherer said. “However, after visiting her small village in Germany, I felt compelled to also dedicate the work to the ‘ordinary citizens among the six million.’ I’m especially delighted the work will be performed just before Yom Hashoah, the day of Holocaust Remembrance.”

“Through his music, Paul has captured the universal messages of peace and solemn majestic praise that are found throughout this ancient prayer,” said Dr. Rakes. “This gentle and harmonically lush piece will be paired in performance with Mozart's Requiem, another musical expression of a prayer for those who have died.”
The second half of the program is dedicated to the Mozart Requiem. The concert thus brings together the new and the old in order to explore the parallels and differences between these two ancient texts and how they have inspired composers now and in the past.

Dr. Rakes and Rabbi Andrea Cosnowski of Temple Etz Chaim in Lombard will conduct a pre- concert discussion contrasting the Requiem mass and the Kaddish prayer. Mr. Scherer will explain the creation of his composition and answer questions. Tickets for the concert are available at the door or via the Downers Grove Choral Society web site: http://www.dgcs.org.

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