On this particular occasion we were lucky enough to get some free tickets from a friend, who was singing in a concert of rather lovely music by the composer Ola Gjeilo. This was our first visit to the main auditorium at Carnegie Hall, and we found the decor most interesting – plenty of molded plaster and gilt, but in a rather restrained style (at least when compared to many other such venues!). In some places it even looked a little like the decoration hadn’t quite been finished, but the acoustic was spectacular.
The first half of the concert featured the Manhattan Chorale and New York City Chamber Orchestra performing the world premiere of the piece Dreamweaver, a setting of the medieval Norwegian poem Draumkvedet, as well as Gjeilo’s 1999 setting of the Ubi Caritas text. For the second half, singers from three additional choirs came on to sing his 2008 work, Sunrise Mass.
We learned from the programme notes that Gjeilo is very influenced by film scores, and this was certainly evident in the two later pieces. Of the two we much preferred the more dramatic Dreamweaver, although we both agreed that the Sunrise Mass would probably be rather enjoyable to sing. (Tom’s other choir sung the Ubi Caritas back in December, which is a lovely medieval-inspired piece, and quite different in style.)
In addition to the usual interval pursuits, Carnegie Hall patrons can visit the onsite Rose Museum, which contains displays about the building as well as illustrious musicians who have performed there. As you might expect the collection seems to be largely paper-based, but there were a few artefacts on show, including Benny Goodman’s clarinet (just visible in the bottom corner of this picture), and it was all most interesting.
P.S. In case the title of this post seems more-than-usually random, please see this link.