… The crushing greatness of Bach’s two extant Passion settings, which invariably make multiple appearances in the weeks before Easter, has often discouraged latter-day composers from treading the same ground. One who dared was the Swiss master Frank Martin, whose oratorio “Golgotha” had its première in 1949. The work has received several fine recordings, notably […]
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Concert programmers often try to create thematic links between seemingly disparate works. But the New Amsterdam Singers event on Thursday at St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church on the Upper West Side was united by only what was described in the program as “unusually appealing texts.” The ensemble, directed by Clara Longstreth, has a strong […]
Putting together a concert of works linked by an overall theme may seem a surefire way to lend coherence to a program. The risk is that in searching for pieces that support a chosen theme, especially unfamiliar scores, you wind up with novelties of lesser musical interest. That risk has never deterred Clara Longstreth, the […]
Among ensembles that champion new music, many trumpet the wide diversity of the composers they perform. Yet there is much to be said for a group that builds long-term associations with favored composers. This has been a defining attribute of the New Amsterdam Singers, a skilled 70-voice choir, which ended its 45th season with a […]
Clara Longstreth, the music director of the estimable New Amsterdam Singers, has a knack for putting together engaging programs with a thematic hook. But as she notes on the chorus’s Web site, a “theme is only good if every piece is a winner, not included just because it serves a theme.” Ms. Longstreth, who has […]
The New Amsterdam Singers have explored music ranging from 15th-century sacred works to modern secular pieces in the 40 years since Clara Longstreth founded the group, and the choir’s performances have always been spirited and finely polished. The group’s real charm, though, is its passion for contemporary American music. Having built relationships with choral composers […]
Highlights “Shakespeare in song is hardly an unexplored subject. Still, where else but at a New Amsterdam Singers concert would you have encountered rewarding Shakespeare settings by Jaakko Mantyjärvi, a Finnish composer and teacher born in 1963, and Knud Jeppesen, a Danish musicologist and composer who died in 1974, along with a batch of settings of […]