Sunday, October 12, 2014

ATL Musicians and Mozart...

The locked-out ATL Musicians played a concert featuring Barber's Adagio for Strings and Mozart's powerful Requiem.  The conductor was the multi-talented composer/conductor/teacher Richard Prior. The Atlanta Mozart Choir appeared in the Mozart, cleverly enough.  There were four soloists.

The concert was held in the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University.  There appeared to be about 30-40 ATL musicians, and maybe a bit more singers in the chorus.  The Conant venue is smallish and quite dry acoustically.  

AMC missed the Barber because of Friday night traffic in Atlanta and the difficulty finding parking on the Oglethorpe campus.

Certainly the ATL musicians are highly talented and technically proficient.  Staging their concerts so frequently must be a challenge, but they certainly do well.  The first few bars of the Requiem were a bit shaky, particularly in the strings.  Dry acoustics shine a bright light on ensemble problems.  But after that things went beautifully.

AMC has been critical of the ASO Chorus in the past.  Not because it is not good- it certainly is among the best in the world.  Its that it is too large for Symphony Hall and conductors don't seem to be able to reign it in.  this was not the case, where the balances between the orchestra and the choir were quite nice.

As mentioned above, there were four soloists.  They were not quite up to the music, likely as a result of limited rehearsal time.  The female voices tended to be a bit thin- certainly not to the level that audiences are used to when the ASO performs in Symphony Hall.

Shame on the Woodruff Arts Center for its mismanagement of its finances and its apparent willingness to downgrade the Symphony by shrinking it and offering to have entry-level musicians take the place of players with seniority.  Shame on the local news media for not digging a bit about the Woodruff management and their financial dealings.  Congratulations to the ATL Musicians for keeping at it and providing Atlant with quality music.

Don't forget the concert on Tuesday, October 14 at Dunwoody Methodist Church.  It will feature haydn's Cello concerto in C Major and Prior's Elegy for Aurora.  The cello soloist will be Matt Haimovitz.

Make your donations to the to help support the musicians during the Woodruff-imposed lock out.  

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