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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
the Chorale website: www.lamc.org.
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