Above: pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, photographed by Georgia Bertazzi
~ Author: Oberon
Thursday September 20th, 2018 - Pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii joining the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for their season-opening concert at Carnegie Hall.
Arvo Pärt's Frates opened the evening. Undoubtedly the composer's best-known work, it was used by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon for his 2003 ballet LITURGY, created on New York City Ballet's Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto. In that context, I've heard the music performed live many times; but tonight was my first experience of hearing it in a concert setting.
From its ethereal start, Fratres develops slowly as its theme is repeated in varying registers and instrumentations, punctuated by percussion accents. In this evening's concert, the 2007 arrangement was performed, which includes winds. String and wind ensembles alternate 'verses' as the bass and deep celli sustain a low, grounding note of spiritual resonance. The depth of tone summoned up by the Orpheus players gave Fratres a feel of Russian bassos engaged in ritual chant.