Having witnessed A Far Cry’s triumphant return to performing live and in person last September as they kicked off their 15th season with Circle of Life, it was an honor and fitting to review Sunset, A Far Cry’s final concert of the season. Sunset was originally scheduled for March 2020 and this Grammy-nominated, self-directed chamber orchestra was thrilled to finally present it onstage. With a heartfelt introduction by Sarah Darling, Boston-based A Far Cry brought a diverse repertoire of suspense, tragedy, and soaring vocals by mezzo-soprano Krista River before joining a collection of promising musicians including Project STEP for a robust finale.
Following opening group Project STEP, A Far Cry took the gorgeous Jordan Hall stage in Boston, MA for their final concert on Friday, May 13 for 90 minutes with no intermission. A Far Cry will cap off their 15th season with a Spring Soiree on June 1 at the Nathaniel Allen Center for Arts and Culture in Newton, MA. The event includes a sneak peek of next season, outdoor cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a charity auction with the option to attend in person or virtually. Click here for more information and here for a look at A Far Cry’s upcoming season.
Elegantly dressed in flowing dresses and suits, A Far Cry opened their final concert with all 18 criers for Julius Eastman’s Joy Boy. A piece likened to the feeling of falling in love, Joy Boy has a trickling and mounting intensity as the orchestra gradually comes to life. It is fascinating to watch the ebb and flow in Joy Boy’s soothing opening rhythms which escalate to a gripping crescendo before lulling into its resonating finale.
Imagine moments before a stunning discovery in a suspenseful film. That’s the escalating tension built around Lutoslawski’s fiery Musique Funebre, Spanish for Funeral Music. A Far Cry performs this chilling and somber dirge with rich, Hitchcockian flair enhanced by a stroke of the viola and plucking, creeping rhythms. Fueled by searing drama and violin-tinged, pulsing urgency, A Far Cry plays furiously to bring this masterful work to an exciting and astounding climax that might leave you with a few goose bumps by the finale.
Led by Grammy award-winning mezzo-soprano Krista River’s airy and soaring vocals, A Far Cry took on Respighi’s classic piece, Il Tramonto, which is an Italian phrase translated as The Sunset. It is a popular piece having been featured in films such as the western classic, The Good the Bad and the Ugly. Adorned in a shimmering blue gray gown with her hair swept into an updo, River’s expressive vocals and her stirring countenance brings out the surreal poignancy of this tragic romance. Based on a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Il Tramonto has a moving story behind it and possibly inspired by a real life disaster in Indonesia.
A Far Cry recalled how music has been “cathartic journey” and like many in the arts and beyond, the love for the arts has been tested, especially in the last few years. Joined by promising musicians in New England Conservatory, NEC Prep, and Project STEP, A Far Cry brought this concert to a robust and wondrous close with Vicente Lusitano’s Aspice Domine and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme, the latter dedicated to an inspiring teacher that encouraged young musicians to pursue their musical aspirations. Highlighted by a duo of skilled violinists, this group of musicians brought A Far Cry’s 15th season to a glorious close with a mix of fragility, power, and a stirring finale.
A Far Cry will cap off their 15th season with a Spring Soiree on June 1 at the Nathaniel Allen Center for Arts and Culture in Newton, MA. The event includes a sneak peek of next season, outdoor cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a charity auction with the option to attend in person or virtually. Click here for more information and here for a look at A Far Cry’s upcoming season.