Alan Gilbert conducted the final symphonies of Mozart – Symphony 39, 40 and 41. I learned that these were all written over the period of three months, an extraordinary effort even for a master such as Mozart. The orchestra was in reduced forces as Gilbert conducted without score.
It’s the holiday. I’m in the mood for a musical – I haven’t seen one lately. I decide to revisit the Tony Award winning Kinky Boots. Another prime seat – Mezzanine A109 – right in the center (at holiday prices). I have to say I was engaged the whole time. Fun music, creative staging and outstanding performances – particularly Stark Sands as Charlie Price and Billy Porter as Lola. I particularly enjoyed the closing of Act I and the last 20 minutes of the show. Great message.
- Bach – Cantata No. 51 – Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen
- Handel – Let the Bright Seraphim from Samson
- Mozart – Requiem (Levin 1993 version)
Cantata 51 is unusual in the sense that there is no chorus; only soprano and orchestra with featured trumpet. Matthew Muckey on trumpet and Miah Persson, soprano made for a stunning opening followed by more collaboration on Handel’s Let the Bright Seraphim.
The second half of the program featured Mozart’s requiem with the New York Choral Society and soloists Persson, Stephanie Blythe, Frederic Antoun and Andrew Foster-Williams. Labadie shaped some powerful musical lines from the chorus.
The Modigliani Quartet presented an amazingly nuanced performance for the Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem. This was the finest string quartet I’ve heard in their series. Such musical line and ensemble. Their ability to sustain sound at the end of a phrase while diminishing the volume of that sound demonstrated incredible control and ensemble. Hope they come back soon!
- Haydn String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. 1, H. III:75
- Dohnányi String Quartet No. 3 in A minor, Op. 33
- Debussy String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
The Finish conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, visited the New York Philharmonic this week to conduct the orchestra in Ravel (seems like we’ve been having a lot of Ravel this season), Sibelius and his own Violin Concerto with Leila Josefowicz.
- Ravel – Suite from Ma Mére l’Oye (Mother Goose)
- Salonen – Violin Concerto
- Sibelius – Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82
The highlight of the evening was the incredibly virtuosic performance of Josefowicz. She was playing things on the violin I never imagined possible. The audience justifiably recognized her with a standing ovation. She reciprocated with an encore, a brief solo piece by the other star of the evening, Salonen.
Salonen and Josefowicz have recorded the Violin Concerto, and it is available on Spotify. The New York Times review was gushing as well, describing the concert as “revelatory.”