After 100 years, a gentle Requiem has its premiere

You don’t often get to hear the world premiere of a piece a century old. The audience at Washington National Cathedral on Sunday night didn’t quite get to, either; Alexander Kastalsky’s Requiem, called “Commemoration for Fallen Brothers,” had in fact had its first modern performance the week before in Kansas City, Mo., site of the country’s national monument to World War I. And the piece had also been performed and even recorded in different incarnations: the 14-movement version, the version for unaccompanied chorus. But Sunday night saw the D.C. unveiling of its full 17-movement, orchestrated splendor — an event that involved the Cathedral Choral Society and three other choruses, two vocal soloists, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the conductor Leonard Slatkin, very much in charge at the helm…


Rowan Sheehan