It's not that I want to end the year listening to a requiem and in the past couple of months, I have listened to two of them. Norwegian pianist/organist/composer Iver Kleive composed a Requiem for the death of his son, Alexander, for the victims of the attack on the Twin Towers of September 11, 2001 and also the fallen in Iraqi war. "Based on requiem text in Latin, it is composed for choir, organ, and two soloist." Requiem was recorded in Ljubljana, Slovenia last spring and was released during the fall.
Although the work here which includes the illustrious choral voices of the Oslo Bach Choir, Mimas chamber choir, APZ Tone Tomsic, soloist Marianne E. Andersen (mezzo soprano) and Trond Hallstein (baritone) and booming organ, it is not an easy listen. As you would guess the music falls in a minor key with many descending lines and often times the organ takes on a dissonant journey. The music might feel cathartic to some listeners, especially those grieving their own loss. To others, such as myself, it might help to listen to work by Bach or other somber classical music before putting this CD in the player. I listened to it in two sessions and in the end found it worthwhile and healing. But I am reminded of a painful therapy session that most of us would try to avoid.
Requiem acts as a powerful healing journey to those who delve into its deep and turbulent waters. The work itself can be compared to the selections that appear on Greek composer/pianist Eleni Karaindrou's Elegy of the Uprooting or American composer Ingram Marshall's Savage Altars in that we are reminded of human suffering, that which none of us can avoid. We are reminded of the losses the world-at-large has faced and individual ones. And we are reminded that the beauty and grace found in our artistic expressions lead to rebirth of the human soul. KKV