Concierto de Navidad

Por Ana María Díaz de Lewine

www.ruimonte.us

Domingo, 18 de Diciembre. Messiah. Handel. St. Katharine of Siena Church. Wayne. Pensilvania. Vox Ama Deus. Valentin Radu, Director Artístico y Musical. Ama Deus Ensemble. Baroque Instrumental Orchestra and Chorus.

Megan Monaghan, Soprano. Jody Kidwell, Mezzo-Soprano.Dana Wilson, Tenor. Ed Bara, Bass.

En la iglesia de Santa Caterina de Siena en Wayne, sonó El Mesias de Handel en todo su esplendor, en una versión auténtica del Covent Garden en su estreno en Londres en 1749. Esta obra se estrenaba varios años antes en Dublín, como nos indicó en la presentación inicial el director fundador del Conjunto de Coro y Orquesta Vox Ama Deus, Valentin Radu.

Bajo su dirección, interpretaron una peculiar versión de El Mesias de Haendel: La versión del Covent Garden del 1749, con instrumentos barrocos.

La dirección del maestro Radu fue absolutamente acertada, controlando las entradas, los volúmenes de las voces, encontrando el balance más adecuado en los pasajes fugados, y obteniendo un buen resultado musical. El coro bien afinado, en el que destaca la cuerda de soprano con dulzura y flexibilidad.

Fantástica la contralto Jody Kidwell con buena presencia escénica y una voz poderosa y expresiva, Megan Monaghan con una voz bellísima y buena resolución de agilidades, nos mostró una excelente musicalidad, Dana Wilson igualmente magnífico, y Ed Bara, fue aclamado por el público y presentaba una voz poderosa y clara. Los instrumentistas barrocos Daniel Boring a la tiorba, Bronwen Fix-Keller al clave, Elin Frazier a la trompeta y Randall Rudolph a los tímpanos, resultaron excelentes, y le dieron un aire muy personal a la obra.

La resonancia de la iglesia era adecuada, si bien no se trataba de una gran catedral gótica, con el que creo que este concierto hubiera sido aún más impactante. Bravo a todos, magnífico concierto navideño.

ENGLISH VERSION:

Translated and comments by Alan Lewine

The St. Katharine of Siena Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania presented for the holiday a splendid concert of Handel’s Messiah, in Handel’s own orchestration of 1749 for Covent Garden. Written in only 3 weeks and intended for Lenten season performance, it has become known as a Christmas classic. Handel’s Messiah was originally performed to great acclaim in 1742 in Dublin, as the director and founder of the Ensemble of Chorus and Orchestra Vox Ama Deus, Valentin Radu, indicated us during the introduction. The 1749 version represents Handel’s London revival of the piece and added 2 oboes and 2 trumpets to his original 1742 orchestration.

An appreciative audience heard Vox AmaDeus perform the entirety of Handel’s nearly three hour oratorio at St Katharine’s in the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia in the gloaming evening of a gray late December day. Under Radu’s direction, the Vox AmaDeus ensemble sang and played on baroque instruments in the particular style and in the lower-pitched tuning of the 1749 original.

The conducting of the maestro Radu was absolutely correct, controlling the entrances of the parts, the volume of the voices, and finding accurate balance in the passages in fugue, and with a good musical result.

The chorus sang with good intonation. The soprano section of the choir especially stood out, singing with flexibility and sweetness. Alto soloist Jody Kidwell was fantastic, with a good stage presence and a powerfully expressive voice. Soprano soloist Megan Monaghan showed a really beautiful voice, very agile, with wonderful musicality. Tenor Dana Wilson was magnificent and Ed Bara received a great ovation from the public for his powerful and clear bass.

The baroque instrument specialists included Daniel Boring playing with great clarity on the theorbo (a kind of lute with seven strings on the fingerboard and another set of seven bass strings extending to a pegbox nearly eight feet long), Bronwyn Fix-Keller on the harpsichord, Elin Frazier as featured soloist on the baroque trumpet and Randall Rudolph on timpani were wonderful and helped provide a personal period elegance to the piece. The acoustics of the church provided just the right resonance and natural reverb well suited to the period nature of the presentation. St Katharine’s is not a grand gothic cathedral, where I think this concert would have been much more shocking. Personally, I prefer the transparency of Handel’s orchestration that we heard here to the larger forces later assembled in arrangements by Mozart and the romantic 19th and 20th century versions more commonly heard today.

Congratulations to all of them. It was a great Christmas Concert.

Ana María Ruimonte
Acerca del Autor
Spanish Mezzo-Soprano, classical singer especialized in Lyric Theater, graduated at the Escuela Superior de Canto in Madrid. She belongs to the duo "Soprano Meets Contrabass" which includes classical-jazz-flamenco and music of the world. She is author of the bilingual theatrical performance "El Carro del Amor" which includes several artistic areas as paint, poetry, theater, music and geography, in the 17th Spain.

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