Now and then I listen to Glenn Gould's recording of the Goldberg Variations. It's one of those works that you don't get tired of. Listening to Julia Fischer, Diemut Poppen and Alexander Chaushian play the Goldberg Variations arranged by Sitkovetsky was an intriguing yet satisfying experience. The sustaining power of the string instruments meant one could really listen to the voices of the 2- or 3-part variations much clearer than on a keyboard. The dialogues between the instruments were wonderful - as if the audience was listening into a series of intimate conversations. The ornaments and the faster passages were played with much individuality. Julia Fischer was very much the star of the evening - her tone was clean and light, Diemut Poppen's viola playing was equally precise and to the point, while Alexander Chaushian was warm and stylistic on the cello.
I quite forgot the first number in Porgy and Bess is Summertime! Beautifully sung by Nicole Cabell as Bess. On a whole, the chorus number was better sung than the solo numbers - where the diction was generally inadequate. The set (Michael Yeargan) was three-dimensional and worked really well with the many scenes in this work. John Wilson was in his elements in the pit and the orchestra responded with a rhythmic boisterous sound - the best part of the evening.