Reviews: Filas Requiem with Oratorio Society of New York
November 6th, 2015
On November 2, 2015, the Oratorio Society of New York opened their season with Filas’ Requiem. Susanna Phillips joined Maestro Kent Tritle the OSNY chorus and orchestra for the performance, along with baritone John Moore and tenor Matthew Plenk. For more on the concert read the reviews below!
“The performance here was virtually as commanding as the dubious content would allow. Tritle sustained basic balances between his massive vocal and orchestral forces, favouring power and momentum over expressive indulgence. Susanna Phillips, the soprano on duty, sang her lofty solos with rare sweetness and limpidity (and earned exclamation points for managing to run the New York marathon as a warm-up exercise the day before). John Moore brought dignified force to the baritone solos, and, despite some pardonable strain, Matthew Plenk attended ably to the stresses visited upon the central tenor.”
“To his credit, Mr. Filas is highly melodic, virtually operatic. Thus, the piece was highly accessible. I doubt if many in the audience had heard it before (including this reviewer), but nothing was harsh, much was beautiful. As beautiful as a clever melody. The soloists were certainly up to the task, Ms. Phillips is being featured in lighter roles for the Met Opera, but she can hold her own in the beguiling upper ranges which must be sung here. Tenor Matthew Plenk is stentorian, and baritone John Moore brings his voice down to earthly size in his solos and ensembles.
To the credit of Mr. Tritle, the Oratorio Society (and orchestra) never let him down. The singing was constantly on pitch, dynamic, fiercely loud when necessary, and almost tender in the Lachrymosa sung with Ms. Phillips“.