Oratorio Society of New York Coming to Carnegie Hall, 5/20
Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion was written to be performed at Good Friday services at Leipzig's St. Thomas Church around 1727-29. "The work transferred from church to concert hall by way of Felix Mendelssohn, who virtually broke the piece out of its grave," said OSNY Music Director Kent Tritle. "From then on, the incredible and expansive emotional appeal of Bach's writing carried the work from choral society to choral society, and today it is a concert touchstone that we cannot do without."
To conclude the OSNY's 2013-14 Carnegie Hall season, Tritle will lead the Oratorio Society in their first performance together of Bach's choral masterpiece on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at 8:00 PM. The vocal soloists joining the OSNY are tenor Nicholas Phan as the Evangelist, bass-baritone Kevin Deas as Jesus, and soprano Leslie Fagan, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, tenor Matthew Plenk, and baritone Kelly Markgraf.
When the Oratorio Society of New York, the city's standard for grand choral performance, offered Handel's Messiah in its annual presentation in December 2013, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote in The New York Times, "when the entire chorus belted out the word 'wonderful' in 'For unto us a child is born' the effect was exactly that. So was the 'hallelujah.'" The OSNY has lately been collaborating with other major New York music organizations, having participated in the New York Philharmonic's "Philharmonic 360" extravaganza at the Park Avenue Armory in 2012, and a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, led by Sir Roger Norrington, at Carnegie Hall in March 2014, about which Harry Rolnick of ConcertoNet said, "The chorus responded with electrifying alacrity."