If I get to heaven, I know the music I hear will be the Agnus Dei movement from Gabriel Fauré's Requiem in D minor, Op. 48, which, according to Wikipedia, is the Catholic Mass for the Dead, the best-known of the composer's large works with a focus on "eternal rest and consolation."
Soprano Madison Leonard with Stephen Czarkowski, director of the Apollo Orchestra, at the Church of the Little Flower Palm Sunday concert/Photo by Patricia Leslie
I do not have words to convey the majesty and beauty of the piece performed Palm Sunday at the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda by the Apollo Orchestra and its 55 members who accompanied Washington National Opera's "young artists," Madison Leonard, soprano, and Michael Hewitt, baritone, and choirs of 62 voices from Little Flower, Saint Batholomew, Saint Louis, and Annunciation churches who sang the entire Requiem under the direction of Terry Eberhardt.
Soprano Leah Hawkins sings at the Church of the Little Flower Palm Sunday concert/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The packed audience knew the program would be glorious hearing the first piece, Richard Wagner's Prelude and Good Friday Spell from Parsifal, which was followed by WNO star Leah Hawkins, soprano, and her presentation of Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs.
At the Church of the Little Flower/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Members of the Apollo Orchestra at the Church of the Little Flower Palm Sunday concert/Photo by Patricia Leslie
It was an ethereal afternoon listening to the vocalists and the Apollo, Stephen Czarkowski, directing. Thanks be to all, especially the Downing Family Foundation which made the concert possible.
Not to miss! These upcoming concerts:
April 15, 4 p.m., Sunday Stephanie Lange and Karla Rivera
May 20, 4 p.m., Sunday Julliard Alumni Ensemble Reunion celebrate U.S. veterans with opera, "oldies and goodies," and Broadway tunes
June 8, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Apollo Orchestra and Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Sibelius's Symphony No. 5 and National Symphony's cellist, Steven Honigberg to play Elgar's Cello Concerto
Where: The Church of the Little Flower is located at 5607 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20816
For more information: 301-320-4538
Admission: There is no charge. A thank offering may be made.