BRITTEN’S CANTATA MISERICORDUM
NEW YORK, N.Y. (April 8, 2014) – The Riverside Choral Society (http://www.riversidechoral.org/
Featuring: Courtenay Budd, soprano; Margaret Lattimore, alto; Lawrence Jones, tenor; Richard Lippold, baritone; David Salsbery Fry, bass.
Mozart (1756-1791) wrote his Requiem in 1791, as he lay mortally ill in Vienna. A composition of ethereal beauty, it has generated much controversy over who actually wrote which parts. While Mozart conceived most of it, Franz Xavier Sussmayr (1766-1803) filled in many of the missing pieces. Experts surmise variously that he did this either by providing orchestration, or by taking direction from Mozart, or by re-purposing some of the early movements for use in the closing sections. Riverside Choral in this performance will adhere to the Austrian- German pronunciation of Mozart’s time. Britten (1913-1976) composed Cantata Misericordium in 1963 to commemorate the centennial of the Red Cross. Written in Latin text, the piece recounts the parable of the Good Samaritan. The British composer was also renowned as a pianist and a conductor.
Riverside Choral Society is delighted to welcome to this performance some of New York’s finest soloists. Soprano Courtenay Budd is an avid recitalist and chamber music performer. A Metropolitan Opera national finalist, she has appeared with such organizations as Central City Opera, Opera Omaha, the Atlanta Opera and the Colorado and Charleston symphonies. The Boston Globe praised alto Margaret Lattimore for her “looks, intelligence, musicianship, personality, technique, and a voice of bewitching amber color." She has performed with some of the country’s best opera companies and orchestras in stagings at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Mostly Mozart Festival, Chicago's Ravinia Festival, the Covent Garden Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Festival, among others.
Tenor Lawrence Jones has performed widely in operas and on the concert stage. Audiences have appreciated his “clean, ringing” voice, as Opera News put it, in performances that include the New York City Opera, the Tanglewood Music Festival, Boston Baroque and Glimmerglass Opera. Baritone Richard Lippold has featured as soloist in operatic, sacred and concert performances in venues from Paris to Athens and New York, including Carnegie Hall. He performs contemporary music, as well as much of the standard lyric baritone repertoire. Bass David Salsbery Fry has won praise as both a singer and actor. He has appeared with the New York City Opera, as well as at Tanglewood, Mostly Mozart and the Aspen Music Festival.
New York audiences, critics and an international roster of composers from William Bolcom and Lou Harrison to Jennifer Higdon and Tarik O’Regan have acclaimed RCS conductor Patrick Gardner. Mr. Gardner, who is in his 24th season as director of the Riverside Choral Society, is also director of choral activities at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, where he conducts the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir and the Rutgers University Glee Club and directs the graduate program in choral conducting. Since his 1990 arrival in New York, Mr. Gardner has conducted nearly 100 major works with orchestra, from Mozart’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall to Stravinsky’s Cantata at Symphony Space.
The Riverside Choral Society (RCS) is in its 34th season. Under the baton of Director Gardner, it has performed major works by Bach, Bruckner, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, Britten, Pärt, Fauré, and many others. In recent seasons Mr. Gardner has conducted RCS performances at Alice Tully Hall of the Verdi Requiem, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and the Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem. The chorus has appeared with the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra and the London Philharmonic (2011). RCS made its Mostly Mozart Festival debut at Lincoln Center in 1998 with Mozart’s Idomeneo, and has since appeared in the Festival several times. RCS is also noted for presenting new and unusual choral works such as Robert Levin’s reconstruction of Mozart’s Requiem.
Riverside Choral Society’s past performances have generated notable accolades:
· “The chorus sang… with hovering calm… The wondrous strangeness of the Nativity story came finally, fully alive.”—Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, on a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
“The Riverside Choral Society had obviously prepared the score thoroughly and sang the music with confidence and full-bodied sound.... This was a sensitive and rewarding performance of Mozart’s most ambitious choral work... It brought the [Mostly Mozart] festival to a fitting close.”--Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
“Gerard Schwarz and his Festival Orchestra, along with a fine array of soloists and the excellent Riverside Choral Society, gave us a rare view of Strauss’ handiwork.”--Shirley Fleming, New York Post
“The Riverside Choral Society Chamber Singers delivered a silvery, sure account of Handel’s glorious oratorio.”--John Rockwell, New York Times
“Augmented by the Riverside Choral Society, the Chorale was indeed the star of the evening, the prayerfully whispered unison passages sounding no less awesome than the massed choral climaxes.”--Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine
Please join Riverside Choral Society for the Requiem and Cantata Misericordium on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $35. To order, visit www.RiversideChoral.org or call (212) 780-2181.