This week’s spate of Mozart concerts in Costa Mesa by the Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale, in conjunction with Sunday’s 257th anniversary of the composer's birth, hold special interest for this reporter. Yes, I will be at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall to hear his celebrated Requiem and several other pieces linked by the fact that they were composed during the final year of Mozart’s short life. But you'll find me embedded with the chorale, adding my modest voice to theirs.
It’s the upshot of a bold experiment I proposed upon noticing several weeks ago that along with Mozart’s celebrated deathbed composition, the Requiem, this week’s concerts would also include his Ave Verum Corpus, a short but sublime work for orchestra and chorale.
Officials at both organizations generously greenlighted my proposal to sit in with them — something more common to the world of pop and rock bands I’m usually writing about for The Times than to the traditions of classical music.
I suggested it because I’d randomly gotten the opportunity to sing it with an ad hoc choir in 2011 and fell in love with the piece, to the extent that I’ve continued singing it regularly, hundreds of times on my own, with recordings, with friends and anyone else I could cajole into reading through it with me.