by Paula Citron
Kevin Mallon’s Aradia Ensemble is an outstanding period music group. The concert of Handel’s 1738 oratorio Israel in Egypt is a case in point. Mallon’s understanding of Handel’s score was rich indeed, particularly the program music that describes the plagues. He was also able to find all the theatrical emphasis in the music which was nuanced with detail.
Considering how much work the chorus has to do in this oratorio, and the fact that the singers were a pick-up group for a specific concert, Mallon was able to lead them to glory. There was an evenness of tone throughout.
The soloists, who don’t have much to do, but need to be sharply on when they do sing, and were, included sopranos Jennie Such and Eve Mcleod, mezzo Jennifer Enns Modolo, tenor Nils Brown and basses Sean Watson and Neil Aronoff.
Such’s lush, distinctive voice commands the ear while Brown is particularly dramatic in his delivery.
From Blessed Sacrament Church, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for THE NEW CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.