Snow-delayed start for New Jersey Symphony’s “Messiah”

Posted on: December 21, 2017

“ ‘All good things come to those who wait,’ so goes the saying,” reads an unsigned Wednesday (12/20) review in Town Topics (Princeton, N.J.). “The audience for New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Friday night concert at Richardson Auditorium had to wait a bit for the orchestra to arrive through the snow, but following the late start, orchestra, chorus, and soloists presented a well-informed performance of George Frideric Handel’s perennial Christmas holiday favorite, Messiah…. Messiah is divided into 53 recitatives, arias, and choruses, and [NJSO Music Director Xian] Zhang chose to pass over some of the more obscure numbers in Parts II and III… The scaled-down NJSO demonstrated clean and precise playing.… It was clear that Zhang was going to do a great deal with dynamic contrasts in this performance, and the strings, including only a dozen violins, played with consistent flexibility and agility throughout the evening…. NJSO compiled a vocal quartet of solid operatic singers,” mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby, soprano Ellie Dehn, tenor Miles Mykkanen, and bass Michael Sumuel. “The Montclair State University Singers, conducted by Heather J. Buchanan, were vocally lithe and agile throughout the piece … able to respond to Zhang’s every gesture and idea.”

Posted December 21, 2017