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Subject: Re: Met Requiem
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 25 Nov 2017 14:04:02 -0500
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I think our reactions are very similar.

The women were impressive (Stoyanova's "Libera me" was gorgeous) as was the
chorus, Levine's conducting was variable and mostly routine to my ears, the
male soloists did not live up to the occasion. I'm afraid but Furlanetto's
retirement is long overdue. It baffles me why some opera critics continue
to praise him.

Vesna

On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 1:36 PM, A Katalin Mitchell <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Looking forward to next Saturday’s broadcast, maybe the unevenness will be
> fixed by then.  My “desert island” work, one cannot hear it often enough
> live.  And hopefully Antonenko will also feel better.  My only problem is
> that I cannot stand Furlanetto, even when he was in great voice his barking
> and overly melodramatic delivery drove me batty…. So I’ll take him with a
> grain of salt.
>
>
> On 11/25/17, 11:42 AM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf
> of Jon Goldberg" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>     I heard the performance on Sirius last night - I'd be very interested
> to get any opinions
>     from anyone in-house.
>
>     I think this was a case of "the whole is better than the sum of its
> parts" and "the end
>     justifies the means," as the "Libera Me" was one of the highlights of
> the performance.
>     There were certainly good moments and good performances all around,
> but also enough
>     glitches to wonder if the occasion (the first public performance, the
> dedication to
>     Hvorostovsky, etc) distracted a bit from the music making. There were
> quite a few
>     moments of ensemble coordination and of intonation that were truly off
> - things that may
>     and can certainly be fixed over the following week (I'm hoping that
> next week's Saturday
>     matinee comes off much better).
>
>     In general, the chorus and the orchestra were in top form. And
> although I don't feel that
>     Levine was on his best game, he did bring out things in the
> orchestration at times that
>     put his own wonderful personal stamp on things. (One moment that
> really stood out to
>     me was the solo quartet of bassoons toward the beginning of the
> "Libera Me" - right
>     before the "tremens factus sum ego" section - there was an attack and
> presence here
>     that may have not quite been Verdi's pianissimo marking, but certainly
> highlighted the
>     odd and eerie sound of the passage in a way I had never heard before.
> Quite cool.)
>
>     The soloists were uneven - no way around that. The women were the
> highlight, but
>     Stoyanova (soprano) could at times be too light, and I did hear
> occasional lacks of
>     intonation from Semenchuk (mezzo) - though to their credit, the "Agnus
> Dei" was
>     beautifully done. Their "Recordare" was also quite wonderful, when
> pitch was centered -
>     but who the fuck was the idiot who had to ruin the moment with a
> "brava!!!!!!!" right
>     after the duet?
>
>     (On the subject of audience reaction, though - again, I don't know if
> this was prompted
>     by anything visual, such as a gesture by Levine, but oh, that long
> silence at the end of
>     the evening did seem to linger on forever...which was very moving.)
>
>     I have always been a fan of Furlanetto, but oh, I think the voice is
> truly showing signs of
>     age now. He's still a wonderful interpreter, but there were times when
> I wondered if he
>     just had as much control to do what he wanted to do. I still enjoyed
> him a lot, though.
>
>     But, the "control" issue brings me to Antonenko, who just has none,
> IMO. Maybe he
>     wasn't feeling well - I don't know. He can shout a Bb with the rest of
> 'em, lol, but his
>     attempts to sing quietly mostly failed (the struggle with the
> "Hostias" being almost
>     unlistenable). He just doesn't have a natural instrument for this
> piece. It can't just be
>     about the high notes, which were big where the needed to be (in the
> ensembles). The
>     exposed solo moments, where expression and flexibility are so
> necessary, were just not
>     good at all.
>
>     So - a mixed bag of a performance IMO, but still one that worked into
> a triumph by the
>     end. And, because the chorus was clearly ON their game, the movements
> which featured
>     them were the highlights. Including a truly joyous "Sanctus," and that
> "Libera Me" with its
>     bravura a cappella reiteration of the Requiem's opening music...and
> that final huge climax
>     before the quiet end, which for me is one of the most irresistably
> moving moments in the
>     piece. In the chorus' perfect sense of attack and ensemble in that
> final build, you could
>     sense that everyone felt the same about that music as I do.
>
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