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.
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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.
This American Symphony Orchestra masterfully employed a sumptuous mix of 19th century symphonic intones and swing band idioms, commanding energetic themes, instrumental soloists as jazz tradition demands, rich tone colors, and moments of sublime beauty with lush strings, harp, flute, cello solos, and Ellington’s beautiful melodies.
The arts possess their own profound intrinsic values that enrich the human condition with beauty, laughter, piety, joy, sadness, reflection, insight, hope, and nature’s wonders, just as they provide unique venues for sharing human expression–mysteriously providing means to share one’s thoughts and imagination through more accessible means like music, dance, literature, visual art, drama, and film