Review: Cantata Profana Captures the Death of a Saint

Review: Cantata Profana Captures the Death of a Saint


This led to a Tarquinio Merula canzonetta for soprano and lute. On this quick 1636 duo, the Virgin Mary (soprano Alice Teyssier) holds the newborn Jesus in her arms, making an attempt to get the stressed toddler to sleep, although she is overcome with premonitions of the struggling that awaits him. The lute (performed by the advantageous Arash Noori) is curiously fixated on two notes, although these recurring pitches are sometimes embellished with filigree.

Subsequent got here the Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya’s radically unconventional Symphony No. 5, “Amen” (1989), lasting simply 15 minutes and scored for a curious ensemble: violin, oboe, trumpet, tuba, huge wood field and a speaker (Gleb Kanasevich), who says the Lord’s Prayer in Russian. The music is without delay grave and grumpy, totally critical and nearly comedian, swinging alongside in a foursquare meter like some sluggish march with a gentle tread, every thematic be aware encrusted in a dour harmonic block. Then Mr. Noori returned to play Alessandro Piccinini’s “Toccata Cromatica” for solo lute (1623), a piece wherein lyrical strands spin out into soft-spoken swirling passagework.

Ms. Teyssier was the compelling soloist, singing Maria Maddalena, within the Sciarrino piece, which over 30 taut minutes tries to evoke the scene of the mystic nun issuing her clipped bursts of phrases. The instrumentalists turn into her eight attentive novices, sitting for lengthy stretches doing nothing, or simply inhaling anticipation (the sounds of, say, a flutist enjoying a brief tone then audibly inhaling), or typically muttering some jittery, quiet mini-phrase. Then Ms. Teyssier’s Maria would sing a frenzied burst of pent-up notes, and the devices would scurry, making an attempt to scribble down her phrases. Jacob Ashworth, Cantata Profana’s creative director, carried out a suspenseful account of this radically episodic and spacey rating.

The viewers in pews sat in nearly full darkness; the gamers have been illuminated by theatrical lighting, so that you needed to give your self over to this contemplative program, even when you would not learn the translations of texts, even if you happen to misplaced monitor of what piece was being performed. A big and appreciative viewers appeared prepared to take action on a cold Friday in a Chelsea sanctuary.



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