Les Arts Florissants Returns to New York, Endangered
Langlois de Swarte, his tone clear however with an interesting trace of wiry chew, performed with vivacity and wit. And the Adagio harpsichord introduction to a sonata in C minor confirmed off Christie’s magic contact, his phrasing noble but light.
Both this and Wednesday’s program have been canny: quick sufficient to do with out an intermission, but targeted sufficient to really feel immersive. So many applications today valorize selection, however to spend a bit over an hour in a single sound world could be a profound expertise.
Better to be left wanting extra. But I ever so slighted rued that, because it consisted largely of alternatives of actions, Tuesday’s recital included just one full Senaillé sonata. (The recording boasted 4, alongside two by his barely youthful modern, Jean-Marie Leclair.)
On Wednesday, Christie led from the organ an ensemble of, at its most strong, 9 male singers and 7 gamers in a set of sacred works by Charpentier, whose opera “Les Arts Florissants” gave the group its title.
This was, a bit belatedly, music for the Lenten interval, starting with Charpentier’s lovely, sober but luscious set of 10 “Meditations for Lent” — a sort of proto-Passion that charts the story of the Stations of the Cross. Soloists sing among the strains of biblical dialogue, with the narration given a hypnotic setting for teams of voices.
In these meditations and three “classes,” historically sung as a part of night providers throughout Holy Week, the instrumentalists have been fantastically restrained. And, if not one of the particular person voices have been significantly spectacular, the choir achieved outstanding, shifting results of hovering gauziness and nearly whispered sweetness; the sound was typically mellow, typically thrillingly emphatic. Precision of assault let even this modest-size group tackle fearsome grandeur when singing of the ripping of the temple’s curtain as Jesus was crucified.