Quigley makes stylish New World debut with Mozart and Bach

By Lawrence Budmen

Patrick Quigley made his New World Symphony conducting debut Friday night in music of Bach and Mozart.

Patrick Quigley made his New World Symphony conducting debut Friday night in music of Bach and Mozart.

The New World Symphony’s half-hour mini-concerts offer a wonderful introduction to the classical repertoire for neophyte listeners. Each program features a performance of a major score by a famous composer.

Patrick Dupré Quigley made his New World debut on Friday night, conducting works by Mozart and Bach in two programs. Quigley is the superbly gifted founder and director of Seraphic Fire and he was no less impressive leading the young instrumentalists.

Mozart’s motet Exultate, Jubilate, the featured work on Friday’s first program, found Quigley drawing crisp playing from the chamber-sized ensemble. Mozart’s inner instrumental voices emerged with transparent clarity, and the elegant phrasing of the two oboes took special honors amid the refined and energetic orchestral performance. The blending of the soprano voice and strings in the central Andante was exquisite, with Quigley’s finely balancing timbres.

Teresa Wakim has often been a standout soloist with Seraphic Fire. Her radiant, bright-toned soprano spun Mozart’s cantabile lines with purity and her trills were spot on. In the famous Allelujah, Quigley’s moderate tempo allowed Wakim’s accurate coloratura to shine.

Quigley was even more impressive leading J.S. Bach’s Suite No. 3 in D Major at the evening’s second concert. Utilizing an ensemble of twenty-eight players, he launched the Overture in exhilarating fashion, with brilliant playing by the three exultant trumpets and solo violin.

Using spare vibrato, contrapuntal lines were clearly articulated. The famous Air emerged stately and noble without a trace of sentimentality. At a quick tempo, the Bouree was festive and the final Gigue infused with the spirit of the dance. Quigley brought idiomatic Baroque stylishness to Bach’s rousing score, the strings’ lightness of touch infusing the music with joy and lilt.

In a typically innovative approach to audience outreach, the New World dubbed Friday’s mini-concerts as “Cycling Night,” offering free valet parking for cyclists. Lobby conversations indicated that many in the youthful, multicultural audience were attending their first concert. Under the circumstances, unwanted applause between movements could be easily forgiven; these listeners’ quiet, attentive concentration during the performance would do credit to many more seasoned concertgoers. All credit to the New World Symphony for thinking outside of the nominal concert box.

Patrick Quigley  and the New World Symphony repeat the mini-concerts Saturday night at the New World Center in Miami Beach. Mozart’s Exultate, Jubilate is at 7 p.m. and Bach’s Suite No. 3 at 8 p.m. 305-673-3331; nws.edu

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Sat Nov 9, 2013
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