I thoroughly enjoyed Thursday evening’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem. Combining the two choirs was a good idea, not just because of its obvious dramatic import, but it was actually vital in passages like Dies Irae, with its descending inner voices. Each choir on its own would not have enough of especially tenors.
A powerful vocal contrast was set up between the dulcet opening Requiem Aeternam, and the thundering Dies Irae: well done!
The counterpoint in Sanctus was effective, with entries clearly accented. However, the opening two entries felt as if they were pulling against the time, and not quite in step with the orchestra.
The a capella sections in the final Libera Me were very beautiful, and exhibited a beautiful balance between the various choral voices. . It was obvious that the choirs were aware of the resulting harmonies, as their voices blended naturally and plaintively.
The orchestra under Yampolsky played very well. Violins were sweet, brass were powerful, and the woodwinds provided just the right amount of color without attracting too much attention to themselves.
Balance between orchestra and choir/solo voices was very good, even in the strident sections. The one exception was in the Sanctus, where brass were just too strong.
Elisabeth Frandsen was the star of the evening with a beautiful rich voice in all registers. Her partnership with Hanli Stapela in the Agnus Dei was another highlight for me. Matthew Overmeyer impressed me, with a strongly projected tone.
Hanli Stapela was somewhat disappointing, as she had a few mishaps. Monde Masimini has a good voice, but came across as very nervous which had a negative effect on his tone.
Thanks again for a most enjoyable evening!