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NY Philharmonic Rings New Year in Festively with DiDonato & Szot
by Bruce-Michael Gelbert      |   follow us...

   
photos by Chris Lee
New York Phiharmonic New Year's Eve concert : center- Paulo Szot , Joyce DiDonato and Alan Gilbert
(inset: Joyce DiDonato & Paulo Szot)
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On New Year’s Eve, the New York Philharmonic, under the baton of Music Director Alan Gilbert, rang the New Year in jubilantly, at David Geffen Hall, with guest singers Joyce DiDonato and Paulo Szot, and mostly American music, mostly from Broadway, with an emphasis on waltzes between vocal selections.
Dances from Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo,” colorfully evocative of the Old West, opened the evening and consisted of a boisterous “Buckaroo Holiday;” peacefully lulling “Corral Nocturne;” folksy “Saturday Night Waltz;” and lively “Hoe-Down.” From Copland’s “Old American Songs,” DiDonato sang a dulcet “Simple Gifts” and “I Bought Me a Cat,” joyously replete with farm animal sounds and more.
Szot began with Billy Bigelow’s Soliloquy, always a tour-de-force for a baritone, from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Carousel.” A sweeping “An der schönen blauen Donau” (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), of Johann Strauss II, served as introduction for DiDonato’s pair of contrasting “Sound of Music” songs, “I Have Confidence,” from the film, looking at Maria’s doubts and determination, as she becomes governess to seven von Trapp children, and the Mother Abbess’ inspirational “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” subtle, then expansive, with which the mezzo-soprano brought down the house.
A look at Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” began with a grand “Embassy Waltz” and continued with DiDonato’s effervescent “I Could Have Danced All Night,” in which she confided the repetition, at first, to Maestro Gilbert. Szot contributed a contemplative “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” and singers and conductor collaborated on “The Rain in Spain,” as an exuberant trio, complete with DiDonato and Szot’s dance. The singers’ encore was a playfully competitive “Anything You Can Do,” from Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun,” capped with the mezzo’s sweet high cadenza.
Rodgers’ “Carousel Waltz,” the overture to “Carousel,” orchestrated by Don Walker, made for a spirited finale for the concert. The audience was then invited to join singers and orchestra in singing out the Old Year with the traditional “Auld Lang Syne,” in Larry Hochman’s arrangement.

 

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