On January 21, Miller Theatre celebrated New York Polyphony’s 10th anniversary with a concert at Church of St. Mary the Virgin. The vocal ensemble performed Palestrina’s Marcellus Mass, a landmark Renaissance work, and a new piece by Ivan Moody, commissioned by New York Polyphony for the occasion.
Sequenza 21 critic Christian Carey wrote:
“Moody juxtaposes chant with chords featuring stacked seconds and fifths, which provide the proceedings with a shimmering quality.”
“[ . . .] where one was previously accustomed to bright sonorities and bustling rhythmic activity, New York Polyphony instead accentuated sonorousness, lyricism, and a supple gentleness. They provide an entirely different, and often appealing, version of this masterwork.”
Critic David Patrick Stearns reflected on the mood that evening:
“The Palestrina mass was wonderful: New York Polyphony has gained extra authority in this repertoire in recent seasons.”
“The surprise of the concert – and it was an immense surprise – was Ivan Moody. The 52-year-old British composer had written a short work for New York Polyphony in seasons past, and then was commissioned to expand it into what became the eight-movement Vespers Sequence, which had its world premiere on Saturday. . . Moody’s music is incredibly integrated: You’re getting the individual voice of a modern-day composer, one unlike any other, but built from refractions of traditional music.”