New York Philharmonic – Messiah

MESSIAH-articleLargeInterestingly, I’ve never seen/heard an entire performance of Handel’s Messiah. Today was the day!  About 32 musicians of the New York Philharmonic teamed up with the Westminster Symphonic Choir and a team of English soloists to present this annual Philharmonic rendition of Messiah. Each year, the Philharmonic engages an early music expert to lead the orchestra, choir and soloists. This year, Andrew Manze was tapped and provided a very nuanced interpretation. The soloists were all excellent and appropriately dramatic: Joelle Harvey (soprano), Tamara Mumford (mezzo-soprano), Allan Clayton (tenor) and Matthew Rose (bass).

Prior to the performance, I attended the pre-concert talk given by composer Joelle Wallach. While the talk went longer than the usual 30 minutes, it was chock full of history and interesting information about Handel and his composing Messiah. My attendance at the talk definitely helped make for a memorable evening!

NY Times Review

The Principal Brass of the New York Philharmonic – Holiday Brass

New York PhilharmonicThis has been the third year of attending this annual concert. While it was enjoyable, it didn’t meet my expectation developed after attending the first two. It may have been due to the fact that there were two members out ill – Philip Smith on trumpet and Philip Myers on horn. While suitable substitutes were present, the group seemed under-rehearsed.

Once again, Lee Musiker and his trio (inclduing Jay Leonhart on bass and Rick Cutler on drums/percussion) provided festive back-up for the quintet. Musiker also provided many of the arrangements along with another individual that Joe Alessi announced from the stage. I can’t remember his name.