New York Philharmonic
Igor Ijurra Fernández, Director
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun, Director
Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Conductor
Erin Morley, Soprano
Emalie Savoy, Soprano
Nicholas Phan, Tenor
Jacques Imbrailo, Baritone
by Carl Orff
Selections from Atlàntida
by Manuel de Falla
Performed at Avery Fisher Hall
(Lincoln Center Website)
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 2, 2012
Selections from Atlàntida (1928-46, completed 1958-77 by Halffter): by Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) (Emily Savoy, Jacques Imbrailo, Nerea Costello, Jake Montagnino, Orfeón Pamplonés Chorus).
Carmina Burana (1935-36): by Carl Orff (1895-1982) (Erin Morley, Nicholas Phan, Jacques Imbrailo, Orfeón Pamplonés Chorus, Brooklyn Youth Chorus)
Avery Fisher Hall was packed with New York Philharmonic fans, choral fans, and friends and relatives of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos was tonight’s Conductor of the Philharmonic, Orfeón Pamplonés (Chorus from Spain), and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, as well as solo opera vocalists, in a tremendously inspiring concert of selections from Manuel Falla’s .Atlàntida and Orff’s entire Carmina Burana. The Falla work might have challenged even the most sophisticated of audiences, with its bells, strings, and film noir effects, but the Hall was hushed and leaned forward, especially when a young boy, Jake Montagnino, sang high pitched solos as “Boy Columbus” and “A Page”. All the English lyrics for this concert were simulcast above the stage.
Emalie Savoy sang the role of Queen Isabella, Jacques Imbrailo was “The Corifeo”, and Nerea Castello was “A Courtly Woman”. This Falla work is forceful, with strong percussion and brass, plus sumptuous strings. Mr. Imbrailo caught my attention with expressive gestures and clear, resonant tones. Ms. Savoy presented her solo with poise and scintillating coloratura. A few of the titles of the selections were “Atlantis Submerged”, “Spanish Hymn”, and “The Salve at Sea”, and they related to Columbus’ nautical adventures. The chorus from Pamplona, Spain was featured here to accolades from the audience, and Maestro Frühbeck de Burgos conducted with little attention to notes. He and his chorus were masters of the genre.
But, it was Orff’s Carmina Burana that brought the house down. From my fifth row orchestra side seat, I was able to be swept into the majesty of the rhythmic, dynamic musicality and to see the very romantic, sensual lyrics above. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus was now onstage, along with Orfeón Pamplonés, and the solo cast shifted to Erin Morley, Nicholas Phan, and a repeat performance by Jacques Imbrailo. Ms. Morley is a soprano I must experience again, with her ingénue personality that rounded out a lyrical, mellifluous tone. Mr. Phan, a tenor, presented powerful, vocal elasticity. Mr. Imbrailo once again projected a vigorous demeanor and superb baritone solos. Dianne Berkun, Director of the Brooklyn choral singers, deserves praise for the perfection of timing, the impeccable focus, and the animated aura that her students exuded tonight. Igor Ijurra Fernández, Director of Orfeón, deserves praise, as well, for the spirited proficiency of his expansive chorus. The music evoked bucolic, romantic yearning with sparkling harmonies. The echoing percussion passages often contrasted to whispering, surreal sensitivity. Throughout the concert, my eye was fixed on the Maestro, with his obvious joy in the moment. Kudos to all.