My name is Dashon Burton, and I am the Junior Senator of the Baritone Commonwealth of Cantus, and wish to have the floor to speak...
Cantus just arrived in NYC yesterday afternoon after some shady navigating (which way do we go, Dashon?). This is sort of a hometown for me, as I spent much of my childhood here, so it's always wonderful to see the sights, have some lovely food, take in the wonderful civil engineering that can fit 400 million people into 17 square feet (numbers are approximate).
After visiting with some friends, I met up with Cantus tenor Paul Rudoi at the brand new Alice Tully Hall (photo by Iwan Baan) at Lincoln Center. First, I have to echo Paul's sentiments: "50% of why I am here is for the orchestra, and the other 50% is for the architecture." It's an absolutely stunning building to see, and just to walk in is amazing too.
The celebrated orchestra was playing for the Opening Nights Festival which is ongoing until March 8. Last night, Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen renewed my sense of some very familiar works to me. Beethoven's First and Seventh symphonies were served with great vigor, and it's obvious that their continued dedication to this monumental cycle will produce more wonderful concerts and recordings. The camaraderie of the musicians was evident, and their structure is very similar to the way that Cantus started, which is always amazing to see. From their program bio: "Founded in 1980, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen initially consisted of a group of outstanding music students who drew up a grassroots constitution in order to optimally motivate the individual members both personally and musically ... The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is organized as a company in which the musicians are sole partners. Thus they assume full responsibility not only for artistic but financial matters as well." As a chamber musician it is always wonderful to share in the successes of other chamber ensembles as well as be inspired by them.
This virtuosic set of players truly dug into the music. Every bar was infused with life, and rarely have I heard such supreme musical nuance. The musicians played with a sense of clarity that made each line that they wanted you to focus on at the forefront. Mr. Järvi was clearly pleased with the results of his and the rest of the musicians' hard work, and I would say had the best "seat" in the house! Combine the musicians and the wonderful acoustics of the new hall, and you get quite a show. It was a technically, emotionally, and visually wonderful journey through two of my personal favorite Beethoven symphonies, and I couldn't really ask for an artistically better way to start a visit to NYC.
Also, for all of our connected audience across the country who can't make it to the concert at Trinity Wall Street on March 5 at 1PM (EST), just a reminder, they'll be broadcasting it LIVE on the internet, so do tune in!