The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
2 November, 1999
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,
guest soloist

Last week, a friend who plays in the Orpheus contacted me and asked if I would be interested in a few comps for this program. Being a lover of Baroque music and, especially, of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, I jumped at the opportunity.

The program was as follows:

TELEMANN:Ouverture in C major (Water Music)
HANDEL:Scherza infida, from Ariodante
As with Rosy Steps, from Theodora
Concerto Grosso in G major, Op. 6, No. 3 (excerpt)
Angels Ever Bright and Fair, from Theodora
Dopa notte, from Ariodante
      LORRAINE HUNT LIEBERSON, Mezzo-soprano
VIVALDI:Concerto in G minor, RV 576
      LIANG PING HOW, Violin
J. S. BACH:Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068

I shan't discuss the instrumental portion of the program, except to say that it was played and interpreted impeccably, as we have grown to expect from this talented, leaderless ensemble.

Ms. Lieberson's singing, however, was enough to lift you out of your seat and carry you to heaven! Having heard her in the title role of Xerxes at NYCO a few seasons ago, I knew what to expect. This great artist has total control of both her instrument and her breath, increasing her volume at the end of long musical phrases sung in a single breath, trilling with ease during repeats, and interpreting with great intensity. Her coloratura roulades sounded easy, as if they were second nature to her. And her interpretation was both intense and true. What more can one ask from a singer in this repertoire? Nothing, I think. I look forward to hearing her in NYCO's production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and the MET's world premiere production of John Harbison's The Great Gatsby.

Howard L. Levin, aka Howard in Brooklyn

Literary content:
Copyright:  © 1999 Howard Levin

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