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The Cathedral Choir with (front/center L-R) Nina Stern (recorder), Ara Dinkjian (Oud), Tamer Pinarbasi (kanun) and Glen Velez (percussion) at the Cathedral Chuch of St. John the Divine. Photo from stjohndivine.org
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

Venice City of Lights

This was an evening of Venice City of Lights at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Superlatives hardly describe the quality of the Cathedral Choir in the Rose of the Compass space. The evening offered a transformative musical experience for listeners and performers alike. The beauty and artistry utilized to guide our journey through the historical, artistic and cultural milieu of Venice evoked elation, wonder, and exhilaration. Onlooking participants experienced profound tranquility and introspection, reflection and contemplation, transcendent joy and longing.

Maestro Kent Tritle and the Oratorio Society of New York performs Bach's Mass in B minor at Carnegie Hall. Photo by Brian Hatton
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

Bach’s Mass in B Minor

Kent Tritle and The Oratorio Society ensured that the ineffable rapture of J. S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor was ably expressed while articulating the vision, technique, Affektenlehre, and unparalleled harmonic sense of the music. We also experienced the intended fulfillment of harmonic tension and what one might consider to be Bach the Baroque in music. The concert performance was breathtaking, the glorias were splendid, and the closing Dona nobis pacem was exquisite.

Ted Sperling conducts MasterVoices production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe at Carnegie Hall. Photo by Toby Tenenbaum
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

MasterVoices presents Iolanthe

This production of Iolanthe by MasterVoices at Carnegie Hall portrayed the essence of superlative artistry coupled with modern technological tools. Audience members were masterfully delivered full access to every quip, idiom, and reference intended by Gilbert and Sullivan. During the production, laughs, chuckles, cheers, and other affirmations continued. Applause occurred frequently, and the denouement was acknowledged through an extended standing ovation and multiple bows. The soloists, dancer, orchestra, costumes, choreography, and lighting were superb. Sperling’s conducting was masterful, precise, effective, and expressive.

Kent Tritle Conducts Musica Sacra at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Photo by Edward Kliszus
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

Musica Sacra at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Kent Tritle and Musica Sacra have once again brought important musical works to the forefront in an opulent setting with superb artists. Tritle’s conducting was expressive and precise, while the Chorus performed with an aplomb to which audiences have become accustomed. Listeners experienced glorious sweeps of sound, delicate shadings, impeccable clarity and vocal precision, superb blend, unerring expression, apposite dynamic range, ineffable artistry, and inspired interpretation. It was an awe-inspiring and memorable musical experience.

MasterVoices presents O HOW GOOD at the Central Synagogue. Ted Sperling, conductor. Credit Photo: Joe Carrotta
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

MasterVoices Presents Jewish Sacred Music

Tonight’s O How Good was a celebration of the life of MasterVoices board member Lois Conway and the years of philanthropy and insightful leadership characterizing her service. The venue chosen for this event was inspiring and magnificent and set in New York City’s Central Synagogue, a stunning example of Moorish Revival architecture and a testament to the beauty and richness of Jewish tradition and culture.

Kent Tritle conducting Stabat Mater by David Briggs at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Screenshot by Edward Kliszus
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

Light of Paradise at St. John the Divine

Maestro Kent Tritle opened this “Light of Paradise” program with the strings of his world-class orchestra performing George Walker’s Lyric for Strings (1946). This work set the tone for the contemplative, elegiac, spiritual, and pathos-rich musical experience about to unfold. This music performed in the magnificent Cathedral of St. John the Divine created rich, transcendent sound reverberations of grandeur and timelessness. The orchestra’s offering of the beautiful, memorable Lyric for Strings was an exquisite sonic experience of poignant and profound emotional character.

The American Classical Orchestra presents Healing Bach at the Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer. Photo by Edward Kliszus
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

The ACO presents Healing Bach

The The ACO presents Healing Bach featured sopranos Sherezade Panthaki and Corrine Byrne, mezzo-soprano Sylvia Leith, countertenor Daniel Moody, tenors Brian Giebler and Lawrence Jones, and bass-baritones Edmund Milly and Joseph Parrish. This astounding coterie of gifted musicians presented continuously breathtakingly beautiful and inspired performances.

American Symphony Orchestra at St. Bartholomew's Church. Photo by Edward Kliszus
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

Organ and Orchestra by the American Symphony Orchestra

Tonight’s concert was entitled Organ and Orchestra by the American Symphony Orchestra! St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Park Ave in New York City was the apposite venue for Maestro Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra. They performed two works incorporating the rich sounds of the marvelous Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ with organist Paolo Bordignon, the Bard Festival Chorale directed by James Bagwell, and vocal soloists Soprano Anya Matanovič, Mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti, Tenor Joshua Blue, and Bass Adam Lau.

Kent Tritle Conducts Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall. Photo credit: Brian Hatton
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall

Maestro Kent Tritle and Musica Sacra delivered an elegant, nonpareil performance expressing the radiant afflatus of Handel’s artistic and spiritual masterpiece Messiah. The exquisite sound of the orchestra with period bows performed by orchestral virtuosos and Tritle‘s attention to purity and detail ensured the finest manifestations of Handel’s choral intentions. The ensemble delightfully conveyed the confidence and security of Handel’s musical counterpoint to elaborate the vital significance of the text, melody, harmonic structures, and the composer’s notable departures from antiquarian pedantry into the dash, freedom, and spontaneity of musical evolution.

Text superimposed on The Siege by James Little. Oil and Wax on Canvas. 2003. Private Collection, NY
Choral Music
Edward A Kliszus

Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts

For the first time in 35 years, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts returned to the stage. Envisioned initially by Ellington as a “Festival of Grace,” provenance for Sacred Concerts is informed by a broad spectrum of jazz, classical and choral music, spirituals, dance, gospel, and blues. Ellington’s compositional product in this venue consisted of a triptych of 34 songs originally recorded in 1965, 1968, and 1973 respectively. It can be argued that an august Ellington facing his mortality considered his Sacred Concerts among his most significant works.

Venice City of Lights

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