Yesterday, Sunday, The Hartford Chorale and The Hartford Symphony Orchestra offered the fourth and final performance of the Brahms Requiem. What a week it was: Monday rehearsal with chorale and orchestra; Wednesday dress rehearsal with chorale, orchestra, and vocal soloists; then performances on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I will be posting a few more essays on some interesting (to me) aspects of our preparation and performance. In the meantime, here are excerpts from two reviews:
From The Hartford Courant:
…It was the Hartford Chorale singers, prepared by music director Richard Coffey [and the vocal soloists] who carried the Requiem. The Chorale nailed the difficult choral entry — from which the spirituality of the work seems to emanate — with perfect balance and lovely German diction.
From In the Spotlight:
So many [people] love choirs, orchestras, and the great musical works that feed them, with the monumental “Ein Deutches” Requiem [sic] being one of the most cherished. The instruments and vocals all meet with the other necessary element of the ritual sharing of sonorous beauty -- the audience. These are people who hope to leave those great halls changed, at least for the moment; and somehow better for having been there. … The orchestra and chorale were very well prepared for the pairing of Romantic era works on the bill. The orchestra performed both pieces concisely, with dedication to the score and an understanding of the style of the period. Although there were some of the inevitable balance issues that occur when voices and instruments occupy the same time and space, the chorale and orchestra performed admirably throughout the Brahms.
HSO Director Auditions Start With A Challenging Shift: Guest Conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos Takes Some Getting Used To
By Jeffrey Johnson
The Hartford Courant, November 14, 2009
Schumann & Brahms: Hartford Symphony & Hartford Chorale [at] The Bushnell, Hartford, CT
By Terry Larsen
In the Spotlight, November 14, 2009