April 2020

Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, is the French composer’s most popular work for soloists, chorus, orchestra, and organ. Written in seven movements, it is appreciated today as a serene, harmonious, and comforting expression of the Requiem mass. Highlights include the lyrical soprano solo, “Pie Jesu”, and gently expressed “In Paradisium.” The composition was written over several years (1887-1890) as a work independent of commission. There were several revisions before becoming the final version known today. It was played at Fauré’s funeral in 1924.

Pavane is an elegant shorter work written to the stately meter of an Italian dance of the 16th century. It was originally composed as a piano piece, but later arranged for orchestra and chorus, with the optional inclusion of dancers. Lyrics are by the French poet Count Robert de Montesquiou. Fauré’s Pavane had wide appeal during his lifetime, and continues to be enjoyed by audiences today.

San Luis Obispo Master Chorale’s French Connection Concert continues with Francis Poulenc’s Gloria – a joyous and lively work composed in 1961. Poulenc’s use of a variety of vocal and orchestral colors makes this one of his most popular works. Composed in six short movements, it includes majestic themes and dramatic solos for soprano soloist, orchestra, and chorus.

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Guest artists appearing for this concert: Ben Kazez, baritone (Requiem) and Amy Goymerac (Requiem, Gloria)

Amy Goymerac

Soprano Amy Goymerac is a versatile singer on both concert and operatic stages. She has sung with opera companies, symphonies and early music festivals throughout California and the U.S. Highlight roles include Susanna from Le nozze di Figaro, Pamina from Die Zauberflöte, Adele from Die Fledermaus and Gretel from Hansel and Gretel.

On the concert stage she debuted the role of Charlotte in the world premiere of Kirke Mechem’s newest opera, Pride and Prejudice, with Redwood Symphony in the spring of 2019. Her most recent San Luis Obispo performance was February 1, 2020, where she performed Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the San Luis Obispo Symphony.

Ben Kazez

Baritone Ben Kazez recently completed his master’s studies at the London Guildhall School of Music. A rising star, Ben was selected to participate in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program at Snape Maltings (England), a program designed to provide high-level performance training for the world’s best emerging professional musicians.

In 2018–19 his solo appearances included a varied repertoire: Bach cantatas at Palau de la Música Catalana, L’Auditori, and CaixaForum Barcelona and one-voice-per-part performances of Bach St. Matthew Passion (Christus and arias); Monteverdi Vespers under Bishop David Stancliffe at Durham Cathedral; and Bach Cantata BWV 86, Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch, at Amsterdam’s Oude Lutherse Kerk. He also joined the Monteverdi Choir for a fully staged production of Berlioz Benvenuto Cellini under Sir John Eliot Gardiner at Opéra Royal (Versailles) and BBC Proms (Royal Albert Hall).