Event Archives

South Dakota Chorale
Marcel Tyberg Project: Music Lost in the Holocaust

One night in 1943, mere days before he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to his death at Auschwitz, Viennese composer Marcel Tyberg played a radiant and deeply moving private concert on a church organ for an intimate audience. Then, knowing that his life was in danger, he handed over his complete works to his friends for safekeeping. Tyberg’s scores — among them two masses last performed by Tyberg himself, the entirety of his sacred output — ended up in the United States, where they sat forgotten in a Buffalo archive for decades, waiting for someone to bring them to light.

The South Dakota Chorale bring this astonishing story with them to Durham. Under the direction of Brian Schmidt (who also leads Duke Chapel’s resident Vespers Ensemble), the Chorale has established a sterling international reputation. Gramophone praised the ensemble’s “warmth of sound and sonority that is not only notably varied in tone and color, but is all but perfect in blend, ensemble, and intonation.”

The twenty-four singers of the Chorale join Duke Chapel’s organist Christopher Jacobson in rescuing Marcel Tyberg’s Two Masses for Choir and Organ from the ashes. The Masses are late romantic works on a grand symphonic scale, reminiscent of the music of Tyberg’s compatriots Mahler and Bruckner, with lush harmonic coloring and sweeping melodic gestures. They will also perform Austrian refugee Eric Zeisl’s 1945 Requiem Ebraico, the first piece of music written to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust. Don’t miss this highly anticipated concert, one of the first performances of these newly rediscovered works since the Second World War.


Marcel Tyberg: Mass in F for Choir & Organ
Marcel Tyberg: Mass in G for Choir & Organ
Eric Zeisl: Requiem Ebraico

  • Sat, Oct 22, 2016 at 8:00pm
Duke Chapel