Friday, January 28, 2011

MOZART & THE CSO

The Colorado Symphony gave an excellent concert of Mozart's music tonight, featuring the overture to The Magic Flute and an Oboe Concerto performed by the orchestra's principal oboist, Peter Cooper, who played beautifully, making it seem easy. He has a gorgeous tone quality.

But the main piece of the evening was the Mozart Requiem, delivered by the largest chorus I have ever seen, at about 180 people. The orchestra was properly sized for Mozart, which made the balance a little odd. That large of a chorus is difficult to keep focused, especially on rhythm. The chorus fell behind several times on the faster tempi, especially the basses.

Conductor Bernard Labadie gave a much better performance than last year. He was much more subtle and emotional. He divided the strings the correct way for Mozart, with the violins opposing each other. He did a very good job with the Requiem, which was the Robert Levin completion, not the Süssmayr completion that everyone knows. If there was any weakness, it came form the soloists. Sporano Shannon Mercer was excellent, but bass Jeremy Gaylon was too weak to perform the Tuba Mirum the way it was meant. You need a full voice for that solo.

Nonetheless, a great evening, and a very full audience.
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