Seraphic Fire brings French music of remembrance

Mon, Oct 17, 2016

Carlos Howard
Marketing & Public Relations Manager

MIAMI – For the second program of its 15th Anniversary Season, “In Remembrance,” professional vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire sings a world premiere by critically acclaimed Douglas Cuomo and the requiem masses of Maurice Duruflé and Gabriel Fauré. Founder & Artistic Director Patrick Dupré Quigley conducts the program on Nov. 11 and 12 in Coral Gables, Florida and Fort Lauderdale, Florida before a runout performance on Nov. 13 in Washington as part of the Georgetown Concert Series. Tickets for Florida performances are available at or 305-285-9060.

“’In Remembrance’ promises to offer people from all walks of life a moving and transcendental concert experience,” says Executive Director Rhett Del Campo. “This repertoire provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the beauty of life through history’s finest music.”

Commissioned by Seraphic Fire with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Douglas Cuomo’s piece, “The Fate Of His Ashes: A Requiem For Victims Of Power,” uses text from Sir Thomas Browne’s 1658 essay “Hydriotaphia.” Subtitled “Urn Burial,” the essay reflects upon ancient practices of disinterment, which Cuomo uses to paint a haunting depiction of death’s aftermath.

“I compiled the text by redacting many of the words of the original, leaving behind a ghostly contemplation on the meta-physical uses of a body after death. Something hidden is revealed by elimination. Death eliminates too, and can reveal,” says Cuomo. The circumstances of a death can transform a life lived privately, outside the public eye, into something very public. The act of extinguishing a life can extend and amplify that life; one’s potential and influence can blossom at death and outlive a body’s time spent on earth.”

“In Remembrance” journeys through three centuries of music history by showcasing Cuomo’s 21st Century composition alongside staples of the 19th and 20th centuries. Completed in September 1947 and bringing the 20th Century to the spotlight is Duruflé’s “Requiem.” The piece makes eloquent use of Gregorian themes. Duruflé wrote three accompaniment versions for it: one by full orchestra, one by chamber orchestra and organ, and one by solo organ accompaniment. Seraphic Fire will perform the piece with solo organ accompaniment by award-winning organist Nathan Laube.

Gabriel Fauré’s 19th Century setting of the requiem mass is a discreet plea in comparison to the dramatic setting by his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Verdi. Through delicate textures and subtle harmonies, Fauré’s “Requiem” is simple and inspirational music that is quintessentially French.

“Joined by one of the great organists of his generation and perhaps the premier American interpreter of French literature, this program allows us to present pieces written by organists where the organ is an equally weighted instrument to the voices,” says Founder & Artistic Director Patrick Dupré Quigley. “The Duruflé ‘Requiem’ is one of the most incredible settings of Gregorian chant of all time – its organ part unquestionably a concerto. It is completely indebted, however, to the prior generation of Fauré’s. In the midst of this, we also are thrilled to commission Douglas Cuomo, a composer who adds to the choral literature and expands the genre.”


Performances in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties Sponsored By:
The Clinton Family Fund Broward County Florida Cultural Division Coral Gables The City Beautiful Coral Gables Community Foundation The Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation Enterprise Holdings Foundation Funding ARTS Broward! Funding ARTS Network First Miami Key Biscayne Community Foundation Knight Foundation The Hutson Wiley Echevarria Foundation Miami Beach Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade County Public Schools Miami Salon Quest National Endowment for the Arts NCCO Norfolk Southern Kirk Foundation Someone & Somebody South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center P. L. Dodge Southern Land Films Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs The Children's Trust Williamson Automotive WLRN Arts Calendar
2153 Coral Way, Ste. 401, Miami, FL 33145 | 305.285.9060 |
Site development by John Huber. ©2004-2022 Seraphic Fire, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.