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Subject: Re: JOYCE DI DONATO - Carnegie recital
From: Evan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Evan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Nov 2012 18:10:32 -0600

text/plain (116 lines)

I was present at her preview of this concert in Kansas City last Friday 
night. Unlike your NY audience, Kansas Citians were the model of 
attentive listening and quite well behaved. Only the group's conductor ( 
concertmaster and frequent soloist,) was at all histrionic, the 
remainder of the ensemble either sitting or standing comparatively still 
during the recital. During a final number, which JDD labelled a baroque 
hoedown, did she become rather playful, dancing a bit and adding a 
do-see-do with the leader. was the 3rd or 4th encore and we 
are her hometown crowd. Her final encore was a repeat of a rondo from an 
earlier selection, the band having run out of music I suppose. A stellar 
night. I ordered the CD the next day which has more vocals and leaves 
out the orchestral interludes, though they were extremely well done here.


On 11/19/2012 5:57 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> On Mon, 19 Nov 2012, Jim Lamb <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> She was amazing and the music was sublime.   Talent all over the place.
>> I hope she has recorded these works.   I  haven't checked out her new 
>> CD.
>> Any opinions?
> Most of what she sang (including the encores) are included on her new 
> CD, Drama Queens.
> If people on this list lament the quality of opera singing, I lament 
> the quality of audiences.  The people next to me were talking during 
> the non-vocal music and even got insensed that I indicated to them 
> that they were disturbing me.
> Her concert demeanor reminded me a lot of Cecilia Bartoli:  She obviously
> took great pleasure in watching the musicians play along during 
> instrumental passages of her arias.  And no wonder:  Like the group 
> that accompanied Bartoli (the program notes indicated this group had 
> as well), the instrumentalists' unnecessary histronics rivaled that of 
> any singer on any stage chewing the scenery.  In this case, they were 
> chewing - practically devouring their instruments.  Many of the 
> players were playing their instruments with much more than gusto - I 
> would say "con violenza" -- that the pitches of the music seemed less 
> important than the effort they exerted.  Considering some members of 
> the audience, perhaps that's the best antidote for people who attend 
> concerts and prefer not to listen or care to the music played.
> The instrumentalists seemed to be having difficulty with the lowered 
> pitch - tuning was rather trying - almost embarrassing, and I wasn't 
> totally convinced they had tuned correctly.
> But DiDonato was really wonderful.  Where I was sitting there was a 
> aural blur and I couldn't always make out the text or articulations, 
> but I could tell often enough she performed them magnificently.
> Like many current singers, DiDonato selected lesser-known (or pretty 
> much unknown) music to avoid comparisons to singers who record the 
> same repertoire. There really is so much operatic music out there 
> which, if not first rate, at least deserves a hearing.
> Those of you who've gone through music history classes using the Grout 
> textbook would have smirked at her opening aria by Antonio Cesti.  
> Grout has negative words for Cesti, but the aria was a delight (for an 
> opening aria, it had to be a good curtain-raiser).  It makes one 
> wonder if Cesti is due for further rediscovery.
> As the concert of mostly unfamiliar wore on, I found myself focusing 
> on her elaborations, since most of these arias were da capo arias 
> where the first section is repeated.  DiDonato never let a repeat go 
> unornamented.  Some of the choices seemed bordering on the excessive 
> (do you immediately launch into elaborations the moment the singer 
> enters so as to make the opening theme fairly different and possibly 
> unrecognizable?), but it was really nice to hear a singer use her 
> talents to make the music her own.
> I'm generally not one for impulse buying, but I headed to the lobby 
> during intermission and purchased the CD represented by this concert.  
> I've not yet had a chance to hear it, but I'm sure it'll be interesting.
> Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
> Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
> blog:   Twitter: @kos2
>   Listowner: OPERA-L ; SMT-TALK ; SMT-ANNOUNCE ; SoundForge-users
> --- My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions ---
> **********************************************
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