New York classical-music performances commemorate 9/11

Posted on: September 12, 2011

In Monday’s (9/12) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes, “The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, came as the classical music season in New York was about to begin. In the aftermath the city’s stunned performing arts organizations were not sure how to respond, or even whether to begin performances at all. But life, and musical life, had to go on. … The New York Philharmonic, then led by Kurt Masur, chose to open the season on Sept. 20 with a memorial program, performing Brahms’s ‘German Requiem,’ a benefit for families of first responders who had died on duty. … So it was especially appropriate that on Saturday night the New York Philharmonic commemorated the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 with another intensely moving program. In a free concert Alan Gilbert led an inspired performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony (‘Resurrection’) with the New York Choral Artists (Joseph Flummerfelt, director), the soprano Dorothea Röschmann and the mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung. This 90-minute Mahler symphony, which plumbs ‘every aspect of life, from its agonies to its joys to its profound sense of hope,’ as Mr. Gilbert said in his eloquent spoken comments to open the program, was an ideal choice to help New Yorkers reflect, heal and persevere.” Also in Monday’s New York Times, James R. Oestreich writes about musical events in downtown Manhattan: “Trinity Church’s weeklong series of concerts and observances of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, Remember to Love, when I caught up with it on Wednesday, set me to thinking about incomprehensibility. This was a program of Bach at One, a permanent midday series by the Trinity Choir at St. Paul’s Chapel, Trinity’s satellite a few blocks to the north on lower Broadway and across the street from the site of the World Trade Center. … I keep coming back to the emotive and spiritual power of Bach’s music—barely comprehensible in its quantity and consistent quality, its originality, its unfailing intelligence and deep humanity: in short, its majesty—as a counterpoise to the incomprehensible horror of the Sept. 11 attacks.”

Posted September 12, 2011