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28 November 2004 ARTMUSIC Live Concert Critique Iwakuni Japan The Iwakuni Concert Spiriual performance seemed exquisite enough to provoke such a statement and complete enough to merit such a response Conducted by Philip Williams the ensemble performed Marc-Antoine Charpentiers Monsieur de Mauroythe works epitomizing the elegance grace and piquant pointlessness of the French Baroque The piece was superb constructuction seemed equivalent of the Baroque Period The piece had melancholic complex opening which then composes itself into an appropriate expression of enthusiasm Williams conducting technique was clarity by itself It seems as if he physically etched out the beat points sculpted the fermatas chiseled the pitches and molded the inflections in the air The resulting textures were complex and gorgeously melodic with almost subliminal harmonies Williams dynamics were inspiring this was apparent in the Marche pour les trompettes and during the second half of the Te Deum He set up a dynamic plane and then project a crescendo outwards in a clean sharp line lifting it out of the plane while simultaneously suppressing the other instruments It was like watching an artist paint foreshortened figures with animated plays of perspective MrWilliams managed several such dynamic layers at the same time and conducted with a curious mixture of control and abandon The performance appeared choreographed to the 100th degree controlled in such detail that it became more spontaneous than spontaneity The conductor focused his choral passages by centering them on one or two prominent vocal parts and allowing these to shine through the general texture The orchestra performance seemed highlighted and was sung real sharp enhancing the relief The blend in the mens section of the chorus was beautiful without being homogeneous and Allen Henning was formidable He owned every note he sang His voice was filled with power immediacy and an astringent sweetness as he knit the passagework into luminosity especially in the Credo of the mass It was a superb rendition one that
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