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In a wonderfully auspicious debut, last week Young People’s Chorus of New York City opened Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center’s venerable and most beloved summer music series. The program, entitled The Singing Heart, paired music by Mozart himself with music that was being performed in the Americas during Mozart’s lifetime. Performed at David Geffen Hall under the direction of Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée and Ehrenkranz Artistic Director Jane Moss, the evening featured YPC throughout and was enthusiastically well-received by audiences.
YPC opens with Mozart’s Kyrie, K.90, which “showed tight ensemble, perfect intonation, and beaming clarity.” – New York Classical Review
‘The Singing Heart’ started powerfully, with the endearing Young People’s Chorus … singing a ravishing a cappella account of a solemnly beautiful Mozart ‘Kyrie’…
A particular highlight was the world premiere of a new composition by YPC Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez based on “Ah vous dirai-je maman”. This time-honored melody we know as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” has been a long-standing favorite for composers to arrange. Mozart composed a set of 12 piano variations on this tune, and later, composers like Beethoven and Saint-Saëns arranged the melody as well. This new work by Francisco was sung by all YPC divisions, including the youngest YPC choristers.
“…laser lights painted a starry vision of a night sky,” during the debut of a new piece by Francisco Núñez, Ah vous dirai-je, maman. “The effect was magical.” – Parterre.com.
The harmonies were absolutely exquisite.
The program closed to a prolonged standing ovation with a stunning rendition of Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” featuring the YPC Chorale, virtuosic pianist Kit Armstrong, the Concert Chorale of New York, and the wonderful Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. As an encore, the youngest choristers returned to the stage to join the full ensemble of the evening’s singers and musicians for a stirring performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Make Our Garden Grow.”
Francisco Núñez, Kit Armstrong, James Bagwell, Louis Langrée, YPC choristers, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra close the concert to standing ovations
Maestro Louis Langrée, the Music Director for the Mostly Mozart Festival, conducts Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy
The Young People’s Chorus of New York deserved every one of the many cheers they got for their excellent singing…
Photos by Stephanie Berger