Main Page

Entertainment Magazine


October  2006

  Arts & Reviews Home



  Theater Reviews

  Concert Reviews

  Feature Articles

  Featured Artists


  Index of Articles



  Broadway Shows

  Theater Companies

  Opera Companies

  Choral Groups

  Instrumental Groups

  Dance Companies

  Index of Links



Sign up  for The Maestro Arts & Reviews Newsletter.  Discounted tickets and more. 



The source for new and emerging authors.


Creative Artist's Network 

Job listings for composers, lyricists and writers.



C O N C E R T   R E V I E W  -  L.A. Master Chorale  -  Walt Disney Concert Hall


 As Smooth as Glass

LOS ANGELES, CA-Opening night of the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 43rd season starts “in the beginning”, by presenting a Creation motif in two very different settings.  With Music Director Grant Gershon in his sixth year at the helm, the Chorale collaborated with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to offer Franz Joseph Haydn’s Creation Mass and Itaipu by minimalist composer, Phillip Glass.  

The Creation Mass is one of six masses composed in Haydn’s twilight years.  Haydn quotes a portion of his own Creation Oratorio in the Gloria of the Mass, which gives the work its nickname.  The rather grim text, “who taketh away the sins of the world,” is set to a jovial melody from Adam’s duet in the Oratorio. 




Phillip Glass


Grant Gerson

Haydn’s patroness, Empress Maria Therese, was not amused at his attempted humor and required a rewrite.   Luckily, on October 22, 2006, the LA Master Chorale performed the “director’s cut” version of the work to a full audience at Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

The Kyrie opened serenely with a mezzo-soprano solo, and Kelly O’Connor did not disappoint.  She sang with richness and warmth for the duration of the work, which clearly showcased her resonant voice and sensitivity to the musical line.  The solo quartet was completed by Soprano Elissa Johnston, Tenor Jonathan Mack and Bass Steven Pence.   The Chorale sang with lightness and impressive dexterity in the Gloria.  The melismatic passages were executed with energy and momentum, and the “amens” toward the end were released with a beautiful delicacy.  Organist Patricia Mabee rendered the organ-tenor interchange in the Credo with a playful, expressive touch.   The soloists and chorale created an Agnus Dei that was both ethereal and majestic.

The second offering of the evening, Itaipu, is one of three “nature portraits” created by composer Phillip Glass.   The work takes its name from the world’s largest hydroelectric plant located on the Parana River, which forms the border between Brazil and Paraguay.   The text for Itaipu, or “singing stones” in Guarani, comes from the creation myth of the Guarani Indians, who were edged out by the creation of the plant.   The programmatic nature of the work sweeps the listener along the path of the Parana river from the Brazilian highlands in the first movement, to the placid Lake and then cascading over the Dam and out to sea. The LA Master Chorale and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra clearly demonstrated that there is no substitute for a live experience of this primordial work.

The basses and percussion opened the Mato Grosso with a passacaglia that ominously foreshadowed the monumental journey that awaited the listener.  The chorale entered with a wash of sound that was both celestial and primitive, ebbing and flowing between moments of tranquillity and startling intensity.  The fluid, hypnotic passages of the violins carried the listener to the temporary calmness of The Lake.  And then, again, an exhilarating momentum was built by the pulsing, percussive voices and the swirling and churning strings, which lifted the listener to the crest of The Dam and sent him in a frenzied tumble over it.  

The audience was noticeably affected and appreciative and responded with a standing ovation.  Such a triumphant opening night as this could only create anticipation for what is surely to be a thrilling season. - Andrea Herron          

Printable View

Visit the Chorale website:


Return to Arts & Reviews Main Page



Maestro Arts & Reviews

Copyright © 2006 [The Maestro Group]. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 10, 2008 .

For questions regarding this site, contact