by Jarrett Hoffman
“I speak German, so I understood the text and I was literally in tears the whole time,” MacPherson, now founding artistic director of the Cleveland Chamber Choir, told me during a phone interview. “There are all these images of a fire coming down from on high, and of the city once being a beautiful place.”
The name of the piece wasn’t printed in the program — it was a surprise addition to commemorate those lost in the attack — but it turned out to be Wie liegt die Stadt so wüst (“How Desolate Lies the City”) by Rudolf Mauersberger, who died in 1971. The text, from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, tells of the destruction of Jerusalem, while the music was written after the fall of another city: Dresden, firebombed during World War II. “It’s an extremely moving piece,” MacPherson said.
This weekend, MacPherson and his Cleveland Chamber Choir will present that work and eleven others as part of “Remembrance: War, Peace, and Comfort.” [Read more…]