Cyril Deaconoff – MPC Chorus Music Director
A capacity audience turned out last night at the MPC Theatre to hear a double header — David Dally directing the MPC String Ensemble and Cyril Deaconoff directing the MPC Chorus. David Dally I have known and admired for over three decades, but this was my first opportunity to observe the artistry of Cyril Deaconoff, who has succeeded Dr. Sal Ferrantelli both as Director of the MPC Chorus and also I Cantori di Carmel.
The major work on the program was Vivaldi’s Gloria, RV 589, a moving and thrilling work that received a moving and thrilling performance. In addition to the spirited performances by chorus and orchestra, we were impressed by the lovely solos from sopranos Jody Lee, Katie Jones, Eliseclaire Roberts, and altos Georgette Berry and Astrid Holberg. An especially striking performance was by soprano Clairelise Roberts’ in Domine Deus with a lovely oboe obbligato by Peter Lemberg and continuo part by Justice Post. Speaking of obbligatos, I was astonished to hear a trumpet solo by David Dally. I say I was astonished, for I have known David Dally for almost forty years and didn’t even know he played the trumpet. A natural musician of the highest order, Dally’s versatility seems to know no bounds, and perhaps someday we will learn that he also swallows live goldfish and plays the tuba.
The evening’s program opened with Mr. Dally leading the MPC String Orchestra in a lively performance of Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 7. Especially memorable were the final two movements, Menuetto and Allegro molto (with its fugal development). After intermission we heard the MPC String Orchestra perform Ravel’s great string quartet, not in its usual configuration for string quartet, but rather in an arrangement for string orchestra. We are all aware of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, both in its original version for quartet and also for string orchestra. Well, move over, Mr. Barber, here’s a competitor and very effective it was.