The Seattle Symphony Chorale’s brainchild, the “Rolling Requiem” linked more than 190 choirs in 26 countries in a musical commemoration:
- Fourteen hours before the sun rose over Ground Zero on Wednesday, 250 people filed into a church in Auckland, New Zealand, half a world away, and sang Mozart’s Requiem in tribute to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks one year earlier. And so the Rolling Requiem began — tearful, somber and sometimes deeply joyful.
As clocks around the world clicked to 8:46 a.m. local time, the moment the first jet crashed into the World Trade Center, choirs began singing the hour-long Requiem.
….Where there were no words, there were the complex, evocative harmonies of the last piece Mozart ever wrote.
”It was the most moving experience of my musical life certainly and maybe my life,” said J. Ernest Green, conductor of the Annapolis (Md.) Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. ”It was almost as if you were making music for your life — like the entire rest of your life depended on what you did in those 60 minutes.”
When the chorus finished, the audience paused for an interminable moment. Then one person clapped, then another, and suddenly, ”It was like the dam bursting, and the emotion came out everywhere,” Green said. There were tears in the audience, tears in the chorus, tears in the orchestra. ”We had this feeling like we were in this together.”
The reactions around the globe were similar. ”It felt like we were in a fairy tale,” said Peter Erdei, conductor of The Teachers’ Choir of Kecskemet, Hungary, which performed before a gathering of more than 2,400, including members of parliament. ”When we ended, the people did not move for several moments, then they burst out clapping. It was hard to leave the church. People left exceptionally slowly, as if they were under some spell.”….