Friday, November 03, 2006

Tonight: A Concert with Karita Mattila


Tonight: Karita Mattila sang Strauss' Last Four Songs at Carnegie Hall. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Orchestra played Shostakovich's Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 54 (1939) and Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier Suite.

First the orchestra: I didn't know that pianissimo could be so pianissimo. The strings were so soft and delicate that the proverbial pin could have been heard had it been dropped in the house. I had not heard Shostakovich performed live and I have been forever converted to fandome. The Der Rosenkavalier Suite was exquisite. I do believe I heard Susan Graham's Octavian singing along in my head. At one point, the waltz was so incredible that I wanted to don a ball gown and dance to my heart's content.

Now the soprano: Karita Mattila is tall, tan, Marilyn Monroe blonde, regal, beautiful, outrageous, glamorous...she wore a sleeveless purple gown and huge diamond bracelets. And oh, she can sing. Her voice pours like honey and her top notes are pure sweetness. She sang Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder beautifully, almost perfectly. The loss in perfection came only when her low notes were covered by the orchestra. Still, she conveyed the beauty of the lieder with sweeping sensitivity and elegance.

It was my first visit to Carnegie this season and it felt good to be home. After, Sally and I went to the Journeys bar at the Essex House where we were treated to a view of Eurotrash couples dressed completely in leopard print...it was quite a site.

2 comments:

litwit said...

Ooh...enjoy your big fancy evening!!

coccodrillo said...

yeah, have a great night!

Mattila is indeed a striking apparition, and her voice is very, very exciting (I really like her Gergiev-conducted Salome).

strangely enough, I was listening just a few days ago to Schwarzkopf's Vier letzte Lieder, still a lovely record after all these years (but I still think Della Casa surpasses her)

it's just comforting to see somebody like Mattila try to follow in those legendary footsteps (like, you know, Eaglen does -- did -- with Nilsson, in a way)

anyway thanks for the post and have fun!