‘Rapturous’ is the best word I can find to describe people’s reactions to the St. Martin’s Christmas concerts this last week. The von Herzogenberg Die Geburt Christi was accepted very enthusiastically, by both audiences and musicians. I was pleased that the orchestral musicians were so positive about the work (“A breath of fresh air compared to all the Messiahs and Nutcrackers we have to play!”). And my favorite compliment came from an audience member who, with tears in her eyes, said “It’s like hearing the same old story in a completely different way.”
The orchestra played extremely well (especially given that we had to cancel one of the three orchestral rehearsals due to a snowstorm last Tuesday evening). The soloists were fantastic, especially Kathryn Radakovich as the Narrator (although to mention her might imply a slight to the other four soloists, who were magnificent as well). And . . . the choir was absolutely magnificent!
The von Herzogenberg has wormed its way so solidly into my heart that I cannot imagine not programming it every few years, and possibly even recording it. We’ll see. If several donors step forward to underwrite the costs of a recording (I suspect it would run about $12-15K), it would be a done deal; but it’s a massively expensive undertaking, so one must consider it carefully… Takers??