Webmaster: Len Mullenger
Seen and Heard International Concert Review
In the event, Ms Coburn emerged as the star of an evening that was a delight in every way. Her fellow soprano in duet, Carolyn Kahl, filled her own role admirably. But it is to the first soprano that some of the loveliest moments in this unfinished yet consummate masterpiece, most notably the Incarnatus est and Laudamus te arias, are entrusted, and they were sung on this occasion with a glowing beauty and purity of tone, a clarity of line and diction, and a boldly passionate expressive commitment that proclaimed the arrival on the scene of a truly outstanding Mozart singer. It was not the kind of singing calculated to please the more ascetic among adherents of Historically Informed performance practice, for it was uncompromisingly emotional and larger than life, as indeed was the playing and singing that Gerard Schwarz, with equal fervor, drew from his sizable orchestra and chorus. I could not for a moment find any fault in this approach, for the work itself is larger than life. And in such a reading, it impressed me, more than ever, as an altogether greater work than the more popular Requiem, than which it breathes–understandably enough, given the circumstances surrounding the commissioning and composition of the later work–a healthier, wider-ranging, and less confined and morbid air.
was the final program in the Seattle Symphony’s short
but ingeniously designed Amadeus! festival mounted
in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday. The first
half of the evening offered two works written by other
composers in homage to their great predecessor. Fortunately,
their order had been reversed from that originally announced.
Tchaikovsky’s Suite No. 4, Mozrtiana, which now
opened the proceedings, is a fun piece, but it would have
come as a jolting anticlimax if it had followed rather
than preceding the quartet and finale from Richard Strauss’
German-language re-composition and amplification, of
Idomeneo. The quartet, splendidly sung by the two
ladies already named and by tenor Russell Thomas and bass-baritone
Clayton Brainerd, proved to be absolutely top-drawer Strauss,
and the celebratory chorus, relatively unadulterated Mozart,
that capped it took us to intermission elated and suitably
primed for the pleasures to follow.