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H + H Retains Custom Alive with Harry – Lyric Say

Over the weekend the Handel & Haydn Society welcomed again Conductor Laureate Harry Christophers to Symphony Corridor for its yearly portion of Mozart and Haydn. Predictable choices of these two composers capped the ends of occasion, however the addition of music from Hildegard von Bingen and Raffaella Aleotti gave the viewers a rewarding exploration of practically 700 years of composition.

Cheers greeted Christophers in recognition of his longstanding fame within the group as he got here onstage for Haydn’s Symphony No.49, La Passione. The orchestra performed standing with Harry dancing in regards to the stage shifting from instrument to instrument — as if his arms pulled the sounds from the strings. The orchestra performed with nice delicacy and mix, the sound melding into one cohesive voice. Haydn eloquently balances two oboes, bassoon, two horns, and strings whereas highlighting every part. The selection of getting the gamers stand gave the efficiency an immediacy inside the giant corridor … and it transcendentally introduced us all again in time. Unbound by chairs, particular person gamers moved and swayed bringing in sudden visible portrayals. Some extra kinetic than others, the sways, dips, and swoons turned an uncomfortable indication of inconsistency inside the sections. Among the many extra exaggerated movers, was Concertmaster Susanna Ogata; her superbly sung tone led the violins, and her extravagant efforts in shifting with the music made her co-conductor.

Every motion of the Haydn deserves a name of reward, notable moments embrace cellos within the Allegro di molto who brilliantly introduced sudden shifts in characterization actually driving the motion. The bassoon in Finale Presto skillfully maneuvered by way of the operating staccato. Oboes within the Adagio attended to progress and coloration notably on pedal notes.

Alternatives from Mozart’s Vesperae Solomnes de Confessore, and Mass in C Main, Okay.317, Coronation closed the ends of each halves. Carried out in conventional seating association, the 2 works are scored for choir, orchestra, and SATB soloist. The group actually shines right here of their ensemble work. The 2 items revealed many sensible and rewarding musical selections which exhibit Christophers understanding of phrasing and textual content, and Mozart’s inherent genius. There was nice payoff within the Laudate Puerti in Mozart’s pairing the instrumental and vocal traces of the fugue, after which the countermelody between the choir and orchestra. H+H delivers it with nice consideration and gave a satisfying payoff. Then orchestra did nice work fueling the temper of every motion, the power of the vocal intentions being expounded by the gamers. The choir sang with good mix and clear diction. The balances among the many voices wavered relying on the part, however they nonetheless delivered an total clear traversal. Some notably rewarding traces have been sicut erat in procipiowithin the Dixit, and every of the ending amen’swhich rang out within the corridor.

Soprano Joelle Harvey, mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, tenor Aaron Sheehan, and bass-baritone Matthew Brook with the H+H Orchestra and Refrain (Robert Torres images)

Of the 2 Mozart works, the Vesperae achived the next polish. The Coronation Mass had little variety from one motion to the following and had extra mishaps. Mismatched vowels, little tempo distinction, and a lack of stability amongst vocal elements attributed to a number of the much less refined moments. All through the Coronation you might really feel the unsettling of viewers members because the curiosity began to lag. Gratefully, trumpeters Jesse Levine and Paul Perfetti introduced a resurgence of power and pleasure within the Credo.

Handel + Haydn’s choral ensemble, comprising 34 skilled singers, makes a fantastic case for using professionals. Whereas it’s obvious the group has a really particular concept of vocal timbre and high quality and solely employs a selected sound which they really feel meets it early music philosophy – the choral facet of the group is clearly its strongest. Maintaining in keeping with the thought of what an early music singer appears like – the soloists for the night Soprano Joélle Harvey, Mezzo Helen Charlston, Tenor Aaron Sheehan, and Bass-Baritone Matthew Brook, might have simply been plucked from the choir with the similarity in sound. Whereas the mixed efforts of the voices paid off within the ensemble, it sadly didn’t for our soloists. Whereas the voices of Harvey and Brook rang essentially the most, the general stability was dismal. Even being close to the entrance of the home, viewers members strained to listen to them, and complaints at intermission from viewers members seated farther again grumbled in query on the comprehensibility of the soloists. Fortuitously for them, this live performance was being recorded, and with particular person microphones being positioned amidst their noses I’m positive sound manufacturing will be capable of ship a extra balanced account.

Enjoying to the energy of the ensemble, essentially the most convincing pairing got here from Hildegard von Bingen and Raffaella Aleotti. Carried out as one steady motion, the phase of plainchant and motets alternated between the 2 composers. (O filie Israhel and Flos Campi by Hildegard. Vidi Speciosam and Surge Propera amica mea by Aleotti) Based on this system notes, intentions of direct or oblique sacred, this portion seemed to sound a bit misplaced with its Haydn and Mozart, however that daring selection paid off right here. The vocal timbre of the group shone on this set. It demonstrated how composers hear sound has actually grown over the centuries. Even in an early music ensemble the timbral colours wanted to sing Mozart versus the plainchant is clear. This singing rose pure, direct, and considerate; it moved the choir right into a church of stone and stained glass. That the composers met our maker is one thing transcendentally true.

The most important and most deserved cheers rang for the choir and Harry Christophers. Handel + Haydn continues to high Boston’s early music pyramid.

Stephanie Beatrice is Music Director for the Cambridge Chamber Ensemble, Calliope, Sudbury Savoyards, and is a sought-after visitor conductor. She holds levels from UMaine (BME) New England Conservatory (MM) in addition to continued research on the Juilliard Faculty.


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