Fauré's Requiem

SAT, FEBRUARY 11, 2017 AT 8:00PM
Enmax Hall, Winspear Centre
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor (pictured Photo: David Curleigh)
Andréanne Brisson Paquin, soprano
Geoffrey Sirett, baritone
Richard Eaton Singers (Leonard Ratzlaff, Music Director)


This performance is available as part of a six-concert Masters Applause subscription starting at just $156. Single tickets are available beginning Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 10am.

Gabriel Fauré wrote his beloved Requiem not as a mass for the departed, but as consolation and comfort for those who remain. Canadian conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni leads the performance of this tender and moving work, as well as a symphony by another revered Canadian, Jacques Hétu.

Featured Repertoire
Fauré – Requiem
Hétu – Symphony No. 5

Additional Activities
Arrive early for Symphony Prelude, an in-depth presentation about musical works to help make the most of your concert experience, starting at 7 pm in Enmax Hall (Main Performance Chamber), free to all ticket holders.

Ticket Information

$79 Dress Circle (A)
$69 Terrace (B)
$59 Orchestra (C)
$39 Upper Circle (D)
$29 Gallery (E)

Tickets subject to applicable service charges.


Series Sponsor


Artist Info

Jean-Marie Zeitouni is recognized as one of the brightest conductors of his generation for his eloquent yet fiery style. He studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, and graduated in conducting, percussion, and composition. In addition to his duties as Artistic Director of the Orchestre de chambre I Musici de Montréal, Mr. Zeitouni is Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival. His résumé also includes stints as Music Director of the Columbus Symphony, the Opera as Theatre program at the Banff Centre, and as assistant conductor and chorus master of the Opéra de Montréal. While with the Violons du Roy, he was alternately Conductor in Residence, Assistant Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor.

Among the many Canadian symphony orchestras Jean-Marie Zeitouni has conducted are those of Montréal, Toronto, Quebec City, Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Halifax, Victoria, Kitchener-Waterloo and London, not to mention the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Arion Baroque Orchestra and Club musical de Québec. No stranger to the international stage, Mr. Zeitouni has conducted the symphony orchestras of Houston, Oregon, Monterey, San Antonio, Omaha, Honolulu, Huntsville, and Cincinnati, in addition to the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonique de Marseille, Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony of Mexico, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Arco Ensemble, and Detroit Symphony. During the 2016-2017 season, Jean-Marie Zeitouni will be conducting the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time and also making his debut at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. He will also be returning to the Orchestre national de Montpellier, Orchestre national de Lorraine de Metz, Pacific Symphony, and Oregon Symphony.

Mr. Zeitouni last appeared with the ESO in May 2015.

Hailed for her generous stage presence and expressive voice, Montreal-born soprano Andréanne Brisson Paquin is equally devoted to several different musical genres, singing baroque, classical, operatic, or even contemporary repertoire with the same commitment, rigour, and excitement. In past seasons, she was invited to perform at Festival International de Lanaudière, Festival de musique baroque de Pontoise, Lufthansa baroque Festival, Festival Montréal Baroque, Montréal Bach Festival, Berlin’s Tage für AlteMusik. Ms. Paquin has been guest soloist for I Musici, Arion, les Voix humaines, Pallade Musica, Masques, Orchestre métropolitain de Montréal, and has had the privilege to work with conductors and instrumentalists such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Jory Vinikour, Lorenzo Coppola, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Skip Sempé, Jed Wentz. Recently, she was guest soloist with Los Angeles baroque ensemble Musica Angelica in an all Bach program featuring Cantata 51 and Christmas Oratorio.
A fine recitalist, Andréanne's Brisson Paquin’s sensitivity shines in the intimacy of chamber music repertoire. She has given many recitals, and has won national and international prizes such as Guy-Soucie Excellence Award; Second Prize at Concours International de Musique de Chambre de Lyon; Second Prize at the Eckhardt-Grammatée competition; Second Prize and Duo Prize at New York’s Joy in Singing. She was also a finalist at the prestigious Montréal International Musical Competition 2012 and performed with Montréal Symphony Orchestra. Andréanne completed her vocal studies at Université de Montréal before pursuing a Masters degree in the Netherlands at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where she graduated in October 2010.

This is Ms. Paquin’s debut with the ESO.

Nathan Berg’s career to date has encompassed a vast range of styles and repertoire and he is in demand by some of the world’s most distinguished conductors. During his early career, Mr. Berg made his name as an outstanding interpreter of the baroque and pre-classical repertoire. He later added leading Mozart roles to his repertoire, including the title role in Don Giovanni in London, Paris, and Vancouver. In recent seasons, he has moved towards the dramatic repertoire, adding the title role in Der fliegende Holländer in his Bolshoi Theatre debut, Alberich (Das Rheingold) with Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and Doktor (Wozzeck) with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. This continued last season with a new production of Bluebeard’s Castle for Teatr Wielki, his role debut as Vodník (Rusalka) in Beijing, and a return to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.

Further highlights in 2015/16 included Mr. Berg’s company debut for Semperoper Dresden as Zoroastro (Orlando), the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks for L'enfant et les sortilèges under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias for Dream of Gerontius. A Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning artist, Nathan Berg has recorded extensively with Les Arts Florissants, including Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. His Lieder recordings include songs by Othmar Schoeck and the album Lieder Recital. He has recorded Dvo?ák's Stabat Mater with Robert Shaw and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Born in Saskatchewan, Nathan Berg studied in his native Canada, the United States, Paris, and at the Guildhall School of Music where he won the Gold Medal for Singers.

Mr. Berg last appeared with the ESO in April 2016.

Founded in 1951 by the late Richard Eaton, Edmonton’s symphonic choir, Richard Eaton Singers (RES), has played a leading role in the cultural community of the city for more than six decades. RES is dedicated to the enjoyment, study and performance of great choral music, to an international standard of excellence, and to fostering the appreciation and future of this music.
RES performances have included Edmonton premieres of many choral masterpieces including the Bach St. John and St. Matthew Passions, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. RES has commissioned and produced many other world premiere performances by Canadian composers, including Mark Sirett’s In Praise of Music, John Estacio’s The Houses Stand Not Far Apart, Ruth Watson Henderson’s A Song of the Seasons (text by Ted Blodgett) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dr Ratzlaff’s artistic leadership of RES, and Estacio’s branche, in memory of former choir member Frieda Haliburton.

The choir has traveled extensively across Canada, to the Netherlands, Britain, and Germany, and has exchanged with other choirs, including the Calgary Philharmonic Choir and Vancouver Bach Choir. RES also regularly performs with other Edmonton area choirs. As partners with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra RES has created many memorable choral events in our city, including the performance of Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand to celebrate the opening of the Francis Winspear Centre for Music. In recent years RES has joined forces with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble to perform the oratorios of Handel, and Bach’s Mass in B minor.

The choir last appeared with the ESO in April 2016.



Symphony No. 5, Opus 81 (46’)* (ESO premiere)


Requiem, Opus 48 (38’)*

*Indicates approximate performance duration
Program subject to change

Symphony No. 5, Op.81
Jacques Hétu
(b. Trois-Rivières, 1938 / d. Saint-Hippolyte, Québec, 2010)

First performed: February 2010 in Toronto
This is the ESO premiere of the piece

Program note by the composer:
I – Prologue (Paris before World War II) The city slowly awakens and gradually becomes something resembling a giant merry-go-round. Noisy children, murmuring throngs, joyous processions and the confusion of an approaching fun fair interact and blur into one.

II – The Invasion (The War) Breathless, agitated, violent, dramatic music. A motif is heard in the unison winds with continuous embellishment from the strings. This culminates in dense polyphony in which different sections of the orchestra compete for prominence. The short and somewhat calmer passage of this scherzo is a lament that will be developed in the following movement. The opening section is heard again in abridged form.

III – The Occupation (The German Occupation) A sort of funeral march. The music proceeds slowly, in a supplicating manner. This is halted by an anguished cry consisting of the overtone series of the note C piled up in an enormous tutti. Unison strings lead to an expressive motif that will become the subject of a series of developments while accelerating. A more tranquil episode is heard in the winds, following which comes an abridged return of the opening march material. A final transformation in the brass leads to the coda, where the anguished cry is amplified.

IV – Liberty (The hope for liberation) Thousands of copies of Paul Eluard’s poem “Liberté” were dropped over Occupied France by RAF planes during 1942. The poem expresses the desire to write the word “liberté” in every way possible at every stage of a life. This incantatory poem, a hymn to all periods of a person’s life, still has universal reverberations today.

Musically, each stanza is treated in the manner of a short dramatic scene. The orchestral colour and vocal treatment vary from stanza to stanza. The last line of each stanza, “J’écris ton nom” (I write your name) serves as a recurring motif.

The first main section comprises the stanzas concerning recollections from childhood  – “cahiers d’écoliers” (schoolboys’ copybooks); “images dorées” (gilded images) – and communion with nature – “chaque bouffée d’aurore” (every whiff of daybreak), “sueurs de l’orage” (labour of storms).

The second, more intimate section opens with the a cappella choir evoking first the gentleness of night – “Sur la lampe qui s’allume” (On the lamp that kindles), next tenderness, sensuality – “toute chair accordée” (all accordant flesh) and hope. Then the tone becomes discouraging, with “refuges détruits” (devastated shelters) and “marches de la mort” (steps of death).

In the powerful final section, “Sur la santé revenue … par le pouvoir d’un mot” (On health returned … by the power of a word), the word “liberté” surges forth like a victory march.

Requiem, Op.48
Gabriel Fauré
(b. Pamiers, 1845 / d. Paris, 1924)

The original version was first performed on May4, 1888 in Paris. The expanded version for full orchestra was first performed on July 12, 1900 in Paris
Last ESO performance: February 2004

While it is not unusual for a work – even one that has proved as popular as Fauré’s Requiem – to exist in several versions, it is unusual that a work not much more than 100 years old should have as haphazard and speculative a history. It is known that Fauré first composed a Requiem for an 1888 performance. Its highly specific instrumentation, and moreover its delicacy, brought the composer criticism from no less than the vicar of the church where Fauré was choirmaster, and where the work had been performed.

So Fauré expanded his work, adding such missing (and supposedly necessary) ingredients such as an Offertorium, and a Libera me. An enlarged orchestra was brought in for an 1893 performance of the revised work, but apparently, Fauré was still not quite finished with it. In 1899, the third incarnation was unveiled, this one for full orchestra, organ, vocal soloists and choir. Even still, it is not quite established that all the orchestration was done by its composer, or if contributions were made by his pupil Jean Roger-Ducasse. Nevertheless, it is this version of the Requiem which has proved most enduring, and that we will hear tonight.

At least part of the reason for this gradual, and irregular genesis is that, unlike many a composer’s requiem, this one was not composed on the occasion of someone’s death. “My Requiem was not composed for anything,” Fauré said once, “for pleasure, it I may venture to say so.” There was also the sense that, after years and years as a church organist, Fauré was deliberately looking for a different sort of message from the traditional Catholic service for dead, one in which the living may find solace, and those that have passed a hoped-for hereafter. The music itself has threads of both the new French school of the turn of the century, but also an ancient, traditional atmosphere reminiscent of Gregorian chant, and the use of modes. There is a symmetry to the works’ architecture, with the beautiful Pie Jesu at its centre (the only appearance of the solo soprano voice, originally sung by boy soprano). The baritone sings both the second and second-to-last sections, while the dark-tinged opening movement is matched against a serene and timeless final movement, In Paradisum.

Program notes © 2016 by D.T. Baker, except as noted

Venue Info

Enmax Hall, Winspear Centre
#4 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB
Google Map


Getting Here

The Francis Winspear Centre for Music is on the corner of 102nd Avenue and 99th Street, in the heart of The Arts District in downtown Edmonton. It is readily accessible by car, Edmonton Transit (bus and LRT), and the Pedway system.

The City of Edmonton provides over 1500 convenient parking stalls within a 5-minute walk from Winspear Centre, The Citadel Theatre and Shaw Conference Centre. The Library, Canada Place and City Hall Parkades provide heated underground parking with pedway connections to the event venues. Parking is also available at on-street meters in the vicinity.



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Dining Near the Winspear

The Winspear Centre's downtown location is ideally situated for some of the best dining experiences Edmonton has to offer. Whether you're seeking dinner before the show or a late night treat after, you can find it at one of these restaurants located within a few blocks of the Winspear Centre.


At the Event

What to Wear
For some, an event at a world-class facility like the Winspear Centre is a great excuse to dress to the nines. But it’s hardly necessary. If that’s your style – go for it! If it’s not – hey, you paid for the ticket, so do what makes you feel comfortable. You’ll see a wide range of dress, from casual to pretty classy, depending on the kind of event it is. Business casual is probably a great middle ground for most Edmonton Symphony Orchestra concerts.

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In consideration to your fellow patrons who may have sensitivities or allergies to scented products, we ask that you use such products with great discretion. If, as a patron, you experience difficulty due to another patron’s use of fragrance, please alert our front of house staff, who will do everything possible to accommodate you.

Food & Beverage
The Winspear Centre has a number of stations in operation pre-show and during intermission. Bars, coffee bars, dessert stations and a martini bar are waiting for you. A good bet for intermission is to pre-order your drink before the show, and it will be waiting for you, so you can avoid lining up during the break.

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