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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.