Piedmont ‘Great Composers’ to present works by Brahms


The Piedmont College Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Orchestra will present two of Johannes Brahms’ monumental masterworks, “Tragic Overture” and “A German Requiem,” in a concert April 21 at the college in Demorest.

Part of the college’s continuing “Great Composers Series,” the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, in the Piedmont Chapel in Demorest. Conducted by Dr. Wallace Hinson, chair of the Department of Music, the performance includes the 100-voice combined choir of the Piedmont Chorale, directed by Dr. Lauren Ringwall, and the Chamber Singers, along with the 40-member Piedmont Orchestra. The concert will feature soloists Dr. Andrea Price, assistant professor of music at Piedmont; and Barton Gilleland, baritone, from Atlanta.

Admission is $10 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors, and free to all Piedmont students, faculty and staff.

Brahms was typically introspective and moody, and Hinson said the two pieces selected for the Piedmont concert showcase this aspect of his personality. “Although grim and bardic in tone, the “Tragic Overture” does not seem to end in absolute submission or ultimate tragedy,” Hinson said. “There are even moments of consolation, such as the brief trombone chorale about 10 minutes into the piece.”

“German Requiem,” parts of which Brahms wrote following the death of his friend Robert Shumann in 1856 and later after the death of his own mother in 1865, are similarly somber yet uplifting, Hinson said. “The central idea of the “Requiem” is comfort for the living—‘Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’ At the end Brahms inverts the opening choral motive, perhaps to indicate that the blessing of his God is all inclusive—to those of us who must live, and to the resting dead. The end is serene and utterly evocative of the text—we are all thus blessed—in life, in death, by these texts, and by this glorious, ineffable music.”