By Joyce Abdulian

On Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 7:00 PM, The LARK Musical Society, under the auspices of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), will present “Promise of Hope” – A Concert with the three works of Johannes Brahms. In its now traditional annual Easter production, the AMAA and LARK Musical Society with this Concert are pleased to present three masterpieces of Brahms: Schicksalslied (Song of Fate); Alto Rhapsody and A German Requiem.

Johannes Brahms is widely considered one of the 19th Century’s greatest composers, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic Era. Brahms completed “A German Requiem” in 1868. The composition is based on Biblical texts, and often cited as one of the most important pieces of choral music created in the 19th century.

Conductor, Maestro Vatsche Barsoumian will lead the distinguished performers:   Susanne Waters, Soprano; Garineh Avakian, Mezzo-Soprano; Edward Levy, Baritone; and LARK Mastersingers accompanied by the LARK Orchestra. A pre-concert lecture by Doris Melkoinian will be at 6:00 PM.

Inspired by the Brahms masterpieces, Maestro Vatsche Barsoumian shares his personal ethos: “As brass hits brass and fire engulfs fire in the Middle East, and as man’s inhumanity to man once again unfolds in abundance, we are again reminded of how trivial is all earthly glory, and how pitiful is man in his pursuit of withering earthly pleasures” All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the Word of the Lord abides forever. I Peter 1:24-25

“No production of this magnitude could solely be sustained by the sale of tickets. This program is realized by the loving and generous support of our habitual supporters who value the treasure of sacred music and to whom we simply say THANK YOU.”

Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, President of the AMAA, shares: “Two events in the life of Johannes Brahms influenced him deeply and may have provided the motivation for him to write the ‘German Requiem’. These two events were the death of Robert Schuman, a close friend of Brahms, and the death of Brahms’s mother a few years later.

“The ‘German’ requiem is different from the ‘Latin’ requiem in the sense that it is not a mass and as such does not serve as part of the liturgy in any church. The ‘German’ requiem is not a prayer for the dead, it is written for the living, to console, comfort and give hope of what we can expect in the afterlife. The text is based on scripture and each movement ends on a mood of optimism—the promise of eternal life that is the anchor of our faith in the living Lord, Jesus Christ.”

The LARK/AMAA joint Concert Committee gratefully dedicates this performance to all who have lived and witnessed the faith that so magnificently transforms their being.

We thank all who support these yearly events with the AMAA, and who show interest in our activities which strive to bring works of great value to our audiences.

The beautiful Ambassador Auditorium, at 131 St. John Avenue, Pasadena, California, with its elegant theater and ample parking, will enhance the experience of the evening’s inspiring performance. Ticket prices are: $100, $70, $35 and student price $15.

For information please call: LARK Musical Society (818) 500 -9997.

The AMAA will dedicate the “Promise of Hope” Concert to the memory of the late Dr. Mihran Agbabian.

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