Kennedy funeral features classical stars

Posted on: August 31, 2009

Saturday (8/29) on his Baltimore Sun blog Clef Notes, Tim Smith writes, “I didn’t figure on watching the entire funeral Mass for Sen. Edward Kennedy, but I’m glad I got drawn in, for, in addition to all the fine oratory (especially by Ted Kennedy, Jr.) , there was music-making of great eloquence by three of the finest artists in today’s classical world. The senator, a hearty music lover, would have loved every note of it. During the Offertory, Yo-Yo Ma played the Sarabande from Bach’s Suite No. 6 for Unaccompanied Cello, a piece of elegant, comforting beauty, with a hint of sadness in the descending melodic motive that recurs. Intonation could not have been easy to maintain in the un-airconditioned church, but Ma came through, as always, with his deeply poetic phrasing. The cellist returned at Communion to accompany Placido Domingo in the Cesar Franck hymn, ‘Panis Angelicus,’ a work of great warmth that was much loved in the days of pre-guitar Catholicism. … After Communion, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham offered a sublime account of another work long a favorite at Catholic services, Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria,’ accompanied by organ.”

Posted August 31, 2009