November 8, 2010

Michael Caruso’s review of the Barber concert

The Chestnut Hill Local published a glowing review of the Biography in Music ~ Samuel Barber concert by Michael Caruso. Get the November 4th issue and look for the “Noteworthy” column! Here are some excerpts:

… a superbly satisfying musical experience …

… How better to appreciate that deeply missed voice than to hear some of [Samuel Barber’s] loveliest music performed by Lyric Fest’s pianist Laura Ward, soprano Randi Marrazzo (both of West Mt. Airy), and mezzo Suzanne DuPlantis (of East Falls) plus the singers of The Crossing under Donald Nally’s direction? No better way. With Nally offering concise, expert narration and Ward accompanying sensitively yet forcefully, the program surveyed Barber’s output with eloquent grace and intense passion.

… It was particularly interesting hearing Nally and the choir interpret music written so long ago and voiced in the traditional tonal language of late romanticism. The superb tuning and pointed phrasing that have characterized the ensemble’s renditions of contemporary music was here efficaciously put to use delineating dark moods and lush harmonies.  Guest artists baritone William Stone and soprano Michelle Johnson sang beautifully in “The Daises,” “Sleep Now,” “Bessie Bobtail,” “The Crucifixion,” “Sleep Now,” “Despite and Still,” “Nuvoletta,” “Do Not Utter a Word” from Vanessa and “With Rue my heart is laden.”

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