10 May, 2011

Concert Review: St Matthew's Passion-Suzuki

Concert Review: St Matthew's Passion-Suzuki

May 7, 2011, Park Ave Christian Church
Yale Schola Cantorum-Juilliard 415-Masaaki Suzuki
Bach St Matthew's Passion

What a fine spring day that positively sings "Das Lied von der Erde"! Suddenly, after the waves of cherry blossom, all the barren trees have become green. Pollens saturate the air and cause New Yorkers much trouble this year. I could barely open my itchy eyes outdoors. It's better indoors and one doesn't need eyes open to enjoy music.

Coming out of the MET, the beautiful weather mandated a long walk towards downtown. Before heading uptown again for the evening concert there was a BBQ dinner. Although cheap eat and the huge restaurant was packed due to impending mother's day, the baby back rib was smoky and full of flavor.

The small and modest church venue was well nigh perfect for the Bach masterpiece. Although a free concert, program notes and libretto were provided. The performance was excellent but missed greatness. For me I would prefer the orchestra to dig in just a little more. The choir was excellent though some of the soloists were just serviceable. Well, some would argue anyway that the Passion's greatest music lie in the chorales, and that proved the case here. Masaaki Suzuki conducted with long lines and tone-painted effectively with the small orchestra at hand. His reading was more animated than his recorded version with the Bach Collegium Japan (BIS), which I do not like.

NY Times review

No comments:

Post a Comment