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Christian McLeer
1979 -
United States of America, NY
Picture Picture
Chr. McLeer
Christian McLeer (20th century), an American Composer is a graduate of the Juilliard Conservatory Pre-College, and Manhattan School of Music. At the age of fourteen he received his first major commission for the American Cancer Society for which he wrote and performed Hope in concert. Since then, he has composed a number of works that have been commissioned and recorded including his one-act opera House of Comedy , an avant-garde piece entitled Feedback Parade, the ballet The Grandfather Clocks, and the opera Haibo. His composition Musing is included on acclaimed flutist Sophia Anastasia's CD of the same name and Hope is included on the CD Encores 2 by the world-renowned pianist Anna Marie Bottazzi. His work, Black Lung was included on the 60x60 project. As a concert pianist Christian has performed at many respected venues including Weill-Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and the New Orleans Astro Dome. He has also performed as a conductor with the New Music Consort. Christian is an accomplished classical, jazz, pop & rock musician and is recognized as having the ability to unite these genres in his compositions. He co-founded the Remarkable Theater Brigade, he is the musical director at Jan Hus Church, and co-directs the Composer's Voice Concert Series in New York City with Vox Novus. On his free time, he plays piano at the after-school rehearsals for the Fort Hamilton High School chorus and National Chorale program, where they are singing "Meaningful", from Mr. McLeer's musical "G Train", under the direction of Mr. Robert Lanaghan.
Period:21st century
Composed in:2007
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Label(s):Cd Baby
This Requiem contains:
01. Introit (Requiem Aeternam)
02. Kyrie Eleison
03. Gradual (Requiem Aeternam)
04. Tract (Absolve Domine)
05. Offertory (Domine Jesu)
06. Sequence (Dies Irae)
07. Tuba Mirum
08. Rex Tremendae
09. Recordare
10. Ingemisco
11. Confutatis
12. Sanctus
13. Agnus Dei
14. Communion (Lux Aeterna)
Contributor:Leo van Roosbroeck
Christian McLeer began writing the Requiem of Independence in June 2006 and it was completed in January 2007. His 5th composition for RTB, the Requiem was clearly inspired by elements of war. McLeer’s Requiem uses modal counterpoint, 12 tone, tone clusters, and 19th century romanticism. The Requiem begins by interpolating the military Taps theme and is followed by an ostinato in the flutes and strings, which represents the pulse of a gun. In the development section, the main theme of the Requiem is sung as an 8-part fugue, complemented by a 3-part fugue in the woodwinds, building in layers to the climax. The Kyrie, inspired by the text, is a simple plea that leads us into the Gradual, the antithesis of simple. The melody is derived from a 12-tone set that starts in the brass and repeats in the bassoon with different transpositions. A new melody is introduced in the chorus as a double fugue with the orchestra, moving around the circle of 5ths. This against a driving beat, represents escape and stops abruptly for McLeer’s first homage to Verdi with a solo soprano line at the end of the piece. With the first 2 notes of Taps as the basis for the melody in the Tract, we get a romantic depiction of the rise of a new day and a glorious arrival of hope. The Offertory, inspired completely from the text, free the tortured souls from hell, has an unrelenting pace. As it transitions into Hostias, there is an angelic a capella vocal quartet. The following chord progression is derived from the climax of this movement and the climax of the 1st movement. The chorus links the chords together with a chromatic line. The dramatic whisper at the opening of the Sequence turns into a shout, bringing in an instrumental ostinato representing a dirge that is reminiscent of an inevitable enemy presence in war. This piece uses 5 levels of syncopation. Each syncopated unit has its own text. The driving tempo increases in the Tuba Mirum, which features the trumpet to bring us back to Taps. In the Rex Tremendae, McLeer varies the syncopation in the instruments to compete with the straight 4/4 rhythm in the vocal line. Portraying the relentlessness of war, he uses a 4-part fugue with fast descending passages. This movement stops, evoking the end of a great battle, and segues into the Recordare. With a complete change in emotions, a string quartet and tenor solo give us an overwhelming mournful feeling. McLeer’s second homage to Verdi is heard in the Ingemisco, with the tenor and bass singing in parallel octaves. This is a complete contrast to the Confutatis, in which the melody travels from 1 instrument to the next then ends with the inversion of the main theme of the Requiem. McLeer uses a rolling melodic line in the strings and swells of crescendo in the voices to create the motion of waves in the Sanctus. His Agnus Dei is lyrical and sad with a descending, chromatic bassoon line that brings in the solo vocal melody. In the last movement, Communion, McLeer pays homage to Ligeti with the opening phrase. The wall of sound between the instruments and voices is taken over by the orchestra with a recap of the first movement. Then, beginning with the flutes, we hear variations on the Taps theme, turning into the full melody when the French horn enters. The strings continue with the rhythmic pulse that now represents a heartbeat, eerily the same pulse of the gun in the first movement. The piece ends perfectly with the Taps theme one last time as the voices sing Amen.