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Montreal Première of Requiem Mass

by admin on November 27th, 2010

Tėviškės Žiburiai nr. 44 – 2010 November 9th

Composer Alexandre Stankevicius’ (Stanké) musical composition Requiem Mass premiered Sunday, November 7th, 2010 at St. Casimir’s Church.  Mass was concelebrated by Père Pierangelo Paternieri, Vicaire Episcopal, Communautés culturelles et rituelles of the Montreal Archdiocese, Msgr. Edmundas Putrimas from Toronto, Rev. Paulius Maliska, pastor of Our Lady Gate of Dawn and St. Casimir’s Parishes.  Participating were the Montreal Lithuanian Choir, Arija choir of Ottawa, and the choirs of Our Lady Gate of Dawn and St. Casimir’s Parishes.  Performing soloists were Anita Pakalniskis-Puodziunas (soprano) from Toronto, Danute Mileike (alto) from Boston, Rimas Paulionis (bass) from Toronto, and Guy Zenaitis (baritone) from Montreal.  The musicians were Dr. Donald Doell (hornpipe/birbyne), Julija Baginskas (cello) and Aida Valevicius (piano).  As the Mass began the combined choir sang Requiem Aeternam. Soloist Danute Mileika followed with the Kyrie. The soloists and the choir sang Dies Irae. Just before the Gospel soloist Guy Zenaitis, accompanied by the choir, sang Recordare. Msgr. Edwardas Putrimas gave the homily.  In French he introduced Père Paternieri.  Then in English and in Lithuanian Msgr. Putrimas spoke of All Saints and All Souls Days, the Catholic traditions remembered November 1st and 2nd.   It was appropriate to perform the Requiem Mass at this time, a reminder of our spiritual journey here on earth and a time to remember all those who have departed. Then the choir sang Domine Jesu and Sanctus.  All 4 soloists sang Benedictus.  Before Communion soloists Guy Zenaitis and Rimas Paulionis, with the choir, sang Agnus Dei. While the faithful went to Communion, Alexandre Stankevicius softly played Lux Aeternam on the piano.  Afterwards soloists Anita Puodziunas and Rimas Paulionis sang a duet – Lux Aeternam. Before the Mass ended Père Paternieri spoke to those assembled and asked them to continue in their faith and their culture.  He told them not forget their past.  Mass ended with the hymn Libera Me. The audience was very moved by the music and the singing of the Requiem hymns. The people gave composer Alexandre Stankevicius, the soloists and the choir a standing ovation.  The composer and the soloists were presented with bouquets of flowers.  The clergy came down from the altar to congratulate maestro Alexandre Stankevicius.  The readers during Mass – Zigmas Skucas and Antoinette Brilvicas.  Recording engineer – Danielius Staskevicius. The Montreal Lithuanian Choir prepared a very plentiful and delicious buffet lunch in the church hall to celebrate the successful première of Requiem Mass.

Vida Lietuvninkas (reporter and translator)

Part 1

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