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Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal Plays Carnegie Hall

Joyce DiDonato and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, © 2019 Richard Termine
A thus-far terrific season at Carnegie Hall continued fabulously on the evening of Friday, November 22nd, with the appearance of the outstanding musicians of the Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal under the brilliant direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The program opened delightfully with a sparkling account of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s wonderful Overture from his late opera, La clemenza di Tito. The extraordinary vocalist, Joyce DiDonato, then took the stage to excellently sing two excerpts from the same work: its most famous aria, “Parto, parto, ma tu ben mio,” and “Non più di fiori,” which is notable for having been written for a dramatic soprano with an unusually low range, while DiDonato is a mezzo-soprano with an uncharacteristically high range. The singer, who wore an arresting red gown, received tremendous applause which she rewarded with a glorious encore: the same composer’s entrancing aria, “Voi che sapete” from his opera The Marriage of Figaro.
The second half of the program was devoted to a masterly realization of Anton Bruckner’s magnificent Symphony No. 4, the “Romantic.” The complex opening movement was requisitely mysterious and majestic, while the wistful slow movement attained a sumptuous and exalting effect. The outer sections of the Scherzo were stirring and enchanting, set against a charming and dance-like Trio, and the powerful Finale was largely suspenseful and dramatic, with exquisite, more melodious interludes, building to an astonishing climax. An enthusiastic ovation led to another marvelous encore: a bewitching excerpt from Poem for Orchestra by the lesser-known Canadian composer, Violet Archer.
The next appearance of these superb artists will be greatly anticipated.

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