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Subject: YNS Messiah
From: Godfrey Daniels <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Godfrey Daniels <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 31 Dec 2017 11:09:51 -0500

text/plain (37 lines)

I just listened to the broadcast of the Dec 11th Philadelphia Orchestra performance of 
Messiah, YNS conducting. I enjoyed it. This was of interest to me because of the increasing 
presence of YNS at the Met as future Music Director. I also love Messiah. For many years my 
go-to has been Colin Davis 1966 version with Wakefield, Harper, Watts &amp; JSQ which I 
possessed on 2 cassettes from around 1978 and listened to dozens of times til the tapes 
wore out. It is embedded in my spirit I'm sure.
This one compared favorably but does not replace by any means. It seemed to me YNS tried 
to leave his mark. There were some gratuitous tempo changes, e.g. a Very Sprightly 'For 
unto Us'. He also had some unique phrasing and emphasis in the orchesta, e.g. special 
prominence for the trumpet throughout (usually appreciated) and embellishments in the 
aria/duet with the bass. He seemed to deny the soloists much latitude in phrasing, the 
exception being the tenor (Andrew Staples) particularly in his beautiful recitatives. I liked 
his voice very much. Matthew Rose blustered a lot imo, esp compared to the subtleties of 
shading of Philippe Sly in the Trinity Church performance of a yr or so ago clips of which are 
on Youtube. Christophe Dumaux sang the alto solo part (Karen Cargill is also listed but I 
didn't notice her voice anywhere). I've been impressed with CD since I first saw him in 
Santa Fe as Ottone in Ariodante (with Goerke) and he does not disappoint here although his 
diction lacks - I could understand hardly any words. He has such an interesting sound - not 
at all what I generally think of as countertenor.
Of course special attention for the chorus with whom YNS clearly worked a lot. Wonderful 
textures and clarity. The sopranos in particular were miraculous in the delicacy and point 
with  which they outlined the upper reaches of these choruses.
The Dutchman of last season and this are the extent of my experience with YNS' 
conducting. It sounds like he has something to say.

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