johnleiser

Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

SMSS@ St. Ignatius 3/24/10

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I don’t know who Frank Martin was, but Kent Tritle does and a good thing; so we heard Martin’s Mass for Double Chorusa cappella for the first time. The singers that inhabit SMSS are uniformly wonderful and they filled the church with sound, SMSS, I get it!
And then Mozart’s Requiem, with Rachel Rosales and Jennifer Lane and Brian Stuki and Matt Boehler and the the orchestra and chorus and …. We can’t know how innovative Mozart was because we are so used to hearing him. This near final piece never disappoints. Rachel is my favorite soprano so this was an even bigger treat. Twenty years of this series and every concert is a surprise . Twenty more Kent!

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Attila@ The Met 3/27/10

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Attlia has not been done at The Met for a long time and I don’t know why! The Verdi music is great and lots of juicy solo and ensemble and choral parts, it is Verdi after all. And to hear the way he turned into La Traviata and Rigoletto is refreshing. We are so used to these melodies that it is a deja vu kind of experience to hear unfamiliar and yet some how in our ear in Atilla. The story is typical, that is a tenor a couple of basses and a soprano fighting to the death. Viva Italy,I guess!
The staging is new and interesting. It hovers over the action and somehow highlights the singing, I am in a small minority that liked it a lot, but I think The Met could use some new stuff!
The singers were mostly new to me and they were uniformly excellent; Odabell,Violeta Vassallo, announced a cold, but it was not apparent, she hit all the notes with a hammer!!the chorus and the orchestra is so good that we almost forget that it wasn’t always this way. And Sam Ramey as a cardinal including red shoes and the cardinal cap looked like the exclamation point for this terrific opera production.

Kronos Quartet @ Zankel Hall 3/14/2010

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I switched tickets and closed my eyes and picked this concert, knowing full well that the Kronos Quartet will not disappoint! Who knew there were Azerbaijan music groupies? Well there are and for just cause, Alin Qasimov and his daughter Fargana rock? Well maybe not rock, but the held their audience in a trance for a very long time with melodies from their homeland. Homayoun Sakhi plays rubab, a guitar like instrument from Afghanastan that was also enthralling. And the show started with Dohee Lee from South Korea with a dance and singing and drama story telling that paved the way for the rest of this diverse and wonderful program. It’s hard to have an opinion of things that are heard for the first time, at least for me, but I’ll listen to Kronos and be drawn into the World any time!

Michael Feinstein @ Zankel Hall 3/22/2010

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Michael stays young and fresh, perhaps with surgical help? And puts on a hell of a show. Intelligently mining the American Songbook to keep all kinds of material in the mix. Sondheim, on his real birthday, Al Jolson, early 20’s to right now, jumping to the piano or with a terrific combo the songs and the stories he tells to accompany them is a delight. As a clincher he took Anthony Newly’s “What Kind Of Fool Am I?” and said it was time to start listening to it again; you’re right M. He had two young guests. Jennifer Sheehan sang beautifully and vamped for the crowd and we love her from this point on. William Blake, isn’t he a poet?, sang a castrato type set and he vamped too! After all it is Cabaret! It’s a lucky thing that there is Michael Feinstein.

The Nose@ The Met 3/11/10

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm

How do you audition to be a nose? And if you don’t get the part do you picket? This Gogol story from the 19th century adresses these monumental issues in grand style. A production by William Kentridge, see him at MoMA too, and conducted by Valery Gergiev, see him at Carnegie Hall too, and sung Gorden Gietz as the nose, oh and Paulo Szot, fresh from South Pacific, Andrei Popov, I’m not sure where he has been lately, come together in Shostakovich’s fantasy early opera. The sets are a character too. They push the story along and we see the nose running away and posing as an official, with a higher rank than Kovalyov, which might be the point if there is one. And the Russian and English signs make a statement about the time of the story. The interference of goverment on the smallest details of our lives and like that. And every one running about trying to see the nose. Don’t worry though, the nose and face are reunited happily at the end. The Met Orchestra played in a truly Russian style, to my ear, and the chorus was in its usual grand form. Peter Gelb’s plan to bring new and interesting operas to the Met is working.

Charles Adamms@ MoCNY 3/3/2010

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm

To see a where the Adamms Family really came from, just in time for the Broadway opening was a treat. Who remembered that the Adamms cartoons have been so funny for so long? The show follows a time line of CA’s craziness in a big square that dumps you out in the lobby giggling. It’s a NY history that is right for this museum. I wonder if the rest of the world thinks we’re as funny as we do. Adamms makes the buildings and spaces charachters as well as the lunitics that inhabit them. This is a must see for any New Yorker reader and any one else that gets a kick out of NY

Les Troyans Pt1 @ Carnegie Hall 3/9/2010

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Berlioz in a small dose in the best hall with Gergiev and Mariinsky is a recipe for a terrific night of music. Add to that a wonderful chorus and a string of very strong singers, led by Ms. Gubanova, we’ll hear more from her you can bet, and Carnegie Hall rocked! Les Troyans is good for Gergiev to recall the strong French influence on Russia in the last two centuries and he stood up to the task with a strong proformance, right in the middle of the action, no podium for Valery in this role. It seemed that he pulled the orchestra to all the right places. The way that Berlioz uses the chorus was on display with a lovely and rich sound from both the men’s and womans and joint parts. Oh, and the soloists were wonderful, you could make a case that they need more French lessons, but to this listener it was just what the doctor ordered for a night of Berlioz.