Press-Republican

Out & About

May 8, 2014

Music for mothers

PLATTSBURGH — Treat Mom to the best — Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi — at Saturday’s Spring Concert presented by Champlain Valley Voices and the SUNY Plattsburgh Choral Union.

The audience settles in with “Te Deum Laudamus” by Mozart.

“It’s a piece for chorus and full orchestra,” said Dr. Karen Becker, conductor. “The coolest thing about this concert is it’s at the Strand. We’re the first large-scale event that is being done in this renovated space. It has been an adventure.”

‘BIG ENDEAVOR’

A lack of water backstage, since remedied, had Becker contemplating renting portable toilet facilities.

“The backstage is still not done; there’s still scaffolding in place. Being the first people to do this, we’re feeling the kinks. It hasn’t been done before. Getting this many people (75) on stage and getting this many people in and out of the backstage area — logistically it’s a big endeavor. It’s going to be worth it.”

The second piece on the first half of the program is the “Brandenburg Concerto No. 5” by J.S. Bach.

“I’m actually playing harpsichord on that,” Becker said. “So, I’m wearing a lot of hats on Saturday night. It’s a famously difficult harpsichord part. Robin Cameron-Phillips is playing flute, and Marilyn Reynolds is playing violin.”

TWO SOLOISTS

Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” is the centerpiece of the second half of the program and features soloists Janna Critz, mezzo-soprano, and Nola Richardson, soprano.

“The two soloists are early music specialists coming to us from Baltimore,” Becker said.

A Baroque specialist, Critz’s recent performances include the “Sorceress” from Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” and Claudio Monteverdi selected works featuring “Lamento della Ninfa” and “Presso un fiume tranquillo.”

Richardson is from Down Under and recently had the title role in her American stage debut of Handel’s “Almira” at the Boston Early Music Festival. She holds two master of music degrees from Peabody Conservatory and will attend the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University in the fall.

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