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Remembering the Dead: September 11 Concerts

See my rundown of September 11 anniversary concerts in the Washington area:

September 11 Commemorative Classical Concerts in the Washington Area (The Washingtonian, September 6):

Classical music may be on the decline, or at least contracting, as a commercially viable form of entertainment, but when it comes time to observe something formally or ceremonially, nothing else fits the bill quite like an orchestra, chorus, and classical music. So it is hardly surprising that the concert tributes to the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks are piling up in the Washington area. Even ten years later, how those events are commemorated is controversial, as the recent flap over the proposed cover art for a recording of Steve Reich’s piece WTC 9/11, showed. As previewed a couple weeks ago, the World Doctors Orchestra will mark the day with one of the obvious choices for the occasion, Mahler’s “Resurrection” symphony, with proceeds going to benefit Whitman-Walker Health. What other concerts are planned for our area?

Settings of the Requiem Mass, or works that similarly pray for the repose of the dead like Mahler’s second symphony, make the most sense. Washington National Cathedral’s three-day commemoration of the anniversary begins this Friday, September 9, with a performance at 7:30 PM of the German Requiem of Johannes Brahms by Cathedral musicians and guest artists, including soloists Christine Brandes and Eric Owens. This free concert (but tickets must be obtained in advance) “will honor the 9/11 victims and survivors, their families, and emergency response personnel, as well as the nearly 6,000 fallen military service members whose lives have since been lost in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will speak during the event. [Continue reading]

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