Gianandrea Noseda brings a laugh into track. This isn’t a facet of him I noticed or understood till he got here to the Nationwide Symphony Orchestra. As a visitor conductor, he struck me as earnest; along with his personal orchestra, he dances. On Thursday evening, the primary live performance of the subscription season, he led the way in which exuberantly thru Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” providing a efficiency that used to be directly fleet and nuanced, in order that even the blast of “O Fortuna” — the noted and overplayed section that opens and closes this multipart paintings — had main points and dapplings of sunshine rather than the standard wall of sound.
From the sacred to the profane: so ran a night that Noseda, having a look out on the crowded auditorium, approvingly noticed used to be made up totally of 20th-century works. The ones target market participants will have come for “Carmina Burana,” or for Noseda himself, however most likely didn’t come to listen to Jennifer Higdon’s “blue cathedral” or Francis Poulenc’s “Litanies a los angeles Vierge Noire,” the 2 brief appetizers to Orff’s heavy smorgasbord of a chief route.
“Blue Cathedral” inspires a fictive house of worship, “a pitcher cathedral within the sky,” the composer wrote in a program observe, defined in company transparent strains of track, together with solos for flute and clarinet, surrounded via the shine and drip of percussion tools, liquid and luminous as melting ice.
Poulenc’s “Litanies” represents his first spiritual paintings, and an early foray into the sonorities of ladies’s voices — the piece is written for girls’s refrain and orchestra — that the composer used to be to pursue in his nice opera “The Dialogues of the Carmelites,” which is in large part set in a convent and solid nearly totally with girls enjoying nuns. Those “Litanies” have the similar gentle, sleek directness of the later opera, opening with a steady haze of tools that portions on unaccompanied girls’s voices, including layers and layers of sound as they move, praying merely and very for mercy and prayer.
“Carmina Burana,” for its phase, is each sacred and profane, in that it units a bawdy selection of medieval poems written in large part via males of the material. A party of earthly delights — wine, girls and tune, roughly — it has turn out to be an indicator of huge choruses and orchestras, a world-famous paintings via an differently not noted composer. It’s a big and sprawling piece, and Noseda and the orchestra have been well-partnered via the Choral Arts Society, sounding as lithe and exact right here as its feminine participants had sounded within the Poulenc, diction transparent within the Latin, Heart Prime German and different archaic languages of the texts.
The Kids’s Refrain of Washington presented reedy innocence juxtaposed with the worldlier sound of soprano soloist Amy Owens. Elliot Madore, the baritone soloist, used to be strikingly heat and sonorous every now and then, just a little pressured at others, and bold in his skill to paintings falsetto and chest voice, the low and high extremes of his voice, right into a unmarried convincing line. And Santiago Ballerini gave a well-nigh heroic supply to the character-tenor position of the roasting swan, making ready to be eaten. (It used to be a medieval delicacy.)
All of this used to be enticing with out being campy — in a phrase, a laugh. It’s a top quality that makes live shows that glance handiest rather interesting on paper come to existence, and one hopes that the NSO will proceed to have extra of it.
This system repeats Friday and Saturday night time.