Recent News
01.13.19
James Conlon
Dull Bruch from Zuk, blazing Bartók from Conlon and New World at Arsht
South Florida Classical Review
01.11.19
Sir Andrew Davis
With conductor Andrew Davis, the BSO considers the big picture
The Boston Globe
01.10.19
Louis Lortie
PIANIST LOUIS LORTIE JOINS THE ROSTER
01.10.19
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING FOUNDER DURING 60TH ANNIVERSARY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR FEBRUARY 1 – MAY 12, 2019
Ailey PressRoom
01.07.19
Teddy Abrams, Inon Barnatan, The Knights
WQXR Presents “19 for 19”: Artists to Watch in the Upcoming Year
WQXR
01.02.19
Ward Stare
Auld acquaintance is not forgotten at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve concert
KDHX
01.01.19
Marin Alsop, Lawrence Foster, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Mariss Jansons, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Emmanuel Villaume, Conrad Tao, Andrew von Oeyen, Inon Barnatan, Daniil Trifonov, Blake Pouliot, Isabelle Faust, Edgar Moreau, Yo-Yo Ma, Alisa Weilerstein, Colin Currie Group , Brooklyn Rider , Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Lisette Oropesa, Michelle DeYoung, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Christian Van Horn, Storm Large
Best of 2018
12.17.18
Richard Kaufman
Cleveland Orchestra, Choruses make it feel like Christmas at Severance Hall
Cleveland Plain Dealer
12.17.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Vienna Boys Choir mix it up with a cosmopolitan “Christmas in Vienna”
New York Classical Review
12.14.18
Storm Large
High-energy holidays with Storm Large at the Sun
KDHX

News archive »

This Is the Best ‘Messiah’ in New York

12.06.18
Julian Wachner
The New York Times

If you grew up thinking of Handel’s “Messiah” as a sweet, staid pageant, a holiday ritual involving a little nap and a stand-and-deliver “Hallelujah” chorus, the forces of Trinity Wall Street offer the gritty, fearless cure, from Dec. 13-17, with what stands apart as New York’s best. (The Dec. 16 performance will be webcast live at 3 p.m., then available on demand.)

“We want to touch people,” Julian Wachner, Trinity’s director of music and the arts and the conductor of its “Messiah,” said in a recent phone conversation. “We want it to not be your grandmother’s ‘Messiah.’”

That desire can be a cliché — after all, no one says they want to perform your grandmother’s “Messiah” — but Trinity, more than anyone else, actually makes it happen, expanding your sense of what the piece can be and do.

[...]

“We’re very much believing it’s Baroque music,” Mr. Wachner said. “There’s dance, there’s energy to it. There’s not this sense that you do one movement, wipe your brow, turn your page, and do the next movement. Opera was the basis of everything that Handel knew, and oratorio was a development through that.”

Trinity continues to experiment with its performance. Last year, Mr. Wachner switched the traditional genders of all the solos, inspired by the strengths of the roster he had at the time. (Imagine a bass singing “He was despised,” traditionally taken by a female alto.)

There was, Mr. Wachner admitted, a bunch of hate mail in the aftermath, but also a lot of responses that spoke of how special the experience had been and how much it revealed about the score. This year, some but not all of the assignments will be gender-switched, for a version neither fully experimental nor fully traditional.

Perhaps even more important, while Trinity Church is closed for two years of renovations, “Messiah” will be performed in the far more intimate St. Paul’s Chapel. “Trinity elicits hushed tones,” Mr. Wachner said. “There is a separation, like at Carnegie Hall. At St. Paul’s, it’s more of a communal feeling.” This fresh location promises to emphasize what is most memorable about Trinity’s presentation: its visceral drama and elemental energy.

As it happens, Mr. Wachner was first exposed to “Messiah” as a boy chorister at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, which often is the first high-profile performance of each holiday season (this year, Dec. 6) and sets a generally high, graceful standard for the weeks that follow.
 
Read the full review here