Review: Verdi Requiem at the Shed, with Currentzis and musicAeterna

Posted on: December 2, 2019

“Teodor Currentzis and his musicAeterna chorus and orchestra made their belated North American debut last week with the Verdi Requiem [at] the Shed, the new performing arts facility in the Hudson Yards section of Manhattan,” writes George Loomis in Tuesday’s (11/26) Musical America (subscription required). “Currentzis and musicAeterna performed the Requiem in a ‘reimagining’ that coupled it with specially commissioned cinematic artwork…. The instrumentalists, dressed all in black, performed standing up (as best I could tell, except for the cellos), a Baroque practice that the orchestra followed when it was established in 2004 as a period-instrument ensemble in Novosibirsk, Russia.… Currentzis made his entrance in near total darkness…. Currentzis exudes a performance personality that is palpably magnetic, and his musicians … respond as if they were guided by some superhuman force…. The performance had a vitality that kept you thoroughly involved…. The big moments of the Dies Irae, and its subsequent reappearances, were terrific, their climactic moments achieved with torrents of impressive, well-balanced sound. Expressive moments were full of nuanced detail…. This Verdi Requiem made an impact, no matter how one responded to it, and it will not soon be forgotten. ”

Posted December 2, 2019