Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mostly Mozart Festival: Haydn's Creation

I love Haydn's "Creation", though I found myself wondering how many of the singers are theists. Obviously they are professionals and need not believe what they sing; I just wonder about it, particularly in NYC. A few highlights from my point of view: I loved that the bass and soprano parts were perfectly tailored to the animals they sing into existence (e.g., the bass sings the whale, while the soprano flutters the wings of a bird). The musical phrasing for the tiger was sublime -- somehow the music itself seemed striped at that point.

My friends and I were on the stage near the percussionist (presumably Michael Strauss on the timpani according to the program), which was a treat in itself. Mr. Strauss was clearly in his element. Short of a Timpani Concerto (should such a thing exist) or the 1812 Overture, I can't think of another classical piece with such a prominent role for percussion. He could not contain a broad grin at the conclusion of the piece. Very cool!

FN: Lincoln Center may need to rethink the title of this summer festival. Two of my three MMF concerts were not exactly "mostly Mozart" (one was all-Beethoven, the other was all-Haydn). And the third, with Joshua Bell, was barely 50% Mozart (if that). Not that I'm complaining, or anything. Just sayin'

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