I went to the New York philharmonic yesterday to see "Handel's Messiah" (I think I've seriously mentioned it about 16 times in the past couple of weeks or so). My expectations were high- this is something I go to see every year and it's usually a beautiful performance. And my assessment of NY? Not as good.
The principal performers were amazing and obviously at the top of their game. The musicians were wonderful... though my ear is not disciplined enough to tell one top class philharmonic orchestra from another.
What was disappointing was the chorus. The best part about Handel's Messiah is the large chorus singing throughout- especially when they sing "Hallelujah" near the end of part 2. It's incredibly majestic and inspiring.
The choir in Toronto was 200 strong. The one in NY?
Of college students.
I thought that perhaps they would be stronger singers and what they lacked in numbers they would make up for in skill. But that was not to be the case.
You need the numbers to be overwhelmed by the sound.
I was not overwhelmed or inspired.
But it was not all bad. Like I said the music was still beautiful. It just wasn't as awesome as performances I've seen in Toronto.