Yizkor Requiem

The news coming out of the Middle East these days has me casting about for answers to political issues with no real expectation of finding them. I’m not so naïve as to expect solutions to appear out of musical works, at least not exactly, but all the same listening to the mixing of Christian and Judaic text in Beveridge’s Yizkor Requiem: A Quest for Spiritual Roots makes the concept appear to be a much more graceful possibility than recent headlines have inferred. The piece began as a memorial for Beveridge’s father, an organist and choirmaster at Columbia’s St. Paul’s Chapel, but this expansive, nearly hour-long work took him much deeper into a scholarly and philosophical exploration of the roots of faith. It was a process that mirrored the interests of his father. The booklet notes include the anecdote: “If I had not [already] made so many changes in my life,” [Lowell Beveridge] mused to his son at one point, “I think I might become a Jew.”