Verdi At The Shed

For his American debut with MusicAeterna, buzzy conductor Teodor Currentzis opted for the Verdi Requiem at The Shed. The Shed is the large, flexible cultural space that is part of the much-derided Hudson Yards development. I like The Shed, and I liked — very much — MusicAeterna’s performance. It was crisp, thrillingly loud, and moving. The accompanying movie by the seminal downtown-NYC filmmaker Jonas Mekas was pretty in its heavy use of florals, but pretty in its heavy use of florals is a description more fitted for a country cottage than to a masterpiece about death. The visual added little to the experience and I suspect that I was not alone in largely ignoring it. Currentzis is big on the ritual aspect of performance: musicians wear cassock-like black uniforms and the lighting is dramatic. Of the four vocal soloists, I preferred the dark beauty of mezzo Clementine Margaine’s singing and the Russian-basso dignity of Evgeny Stavinsky’s.

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