Classical Orchestra and Concentus impress with dynamic Haydn

Bloomington Herald – MUSIC REVIEW

Chang’s performance was remarkable

By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer | | Posted: Monday, March 9, 2015 12:00 am

The Historical Performance Institute, formerly known as the Early Music Institute, brought great beauty to Auer Hall Friday evening with a program of music by Haydn.

In charge was Dana Marsh, an eminent scholar/conductor/organist/singer currently serving as visiting associate professor and coordinator at the institute. He had assembled the Indiana University Classical Orchestra, the ensemble Concentus and a brilliant fortepianist, Hsuan Chang, for an hour of Franz Joseph Haydn: his Piano Concerto Number 4 in G Major and the Mass in B-Flat Major (“Harmoniemesse”). The results of his assembling and preparing were delightful.

Chang, a doctoral candidate concentrating on mastery of both the fortepiano and the harpsichord, turned in a remarkable performance of the 1782 concerto, a lovely piece of music. Her limber and sensitive finger work on the gentler-than-piano instrument brought admirable flow and clarity to her interpretation. To that, she added a welcome warmth and elegance that the score appears to beg for. With the Marsh-led orchestra contributing complementary partnership, one heard a delicious collaboration, Haydn done in classic period style, the way the composer might have heard it or have wished to hear it.

The “Harmoniemesse” (“Wind-Band Mass”) was Haydn’s last major work, and he led its premiere at a church in Eisenstadt, back to where, earlier in his life, he had served the noble Esterhazy family. The music calls for a large contingent of wind instruments; thus, it acquires a majesty as a beefed up orchestra is joined by a chorus and four soloists who get to sing some sublime music, set to the standard text. Marsh led his forces with formidable energy and to strong impact, coaxing beauteous and stirring sound from the orchestral delegation, the 21-member chorus, and the fine soloists taken from within its ranks: soprano Madeline Stern, alto Amber McKoy, tenor Bille Bruley, and bass Jason Eck. Bravo to the whole of it.

Fortepianist, Hsuan Chang, offered a remarkable performance of Haydn Piano Concerto No. 4

Fortepianist, Hsuan Chang, offered a remarkable performance of Haydn Piano Concerto No. 4

Dana Marsh, Director
Dana Marsh, Director


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