Heavenly Hymn: The 8 Best Classical Music Moments of the Week on YouTube

Our critics as well as reporters offer a glimpse of what’s moved as well as delighted them on YouTube. Read the rest of our classical music coverage here.


At 6 minutes 48 seconds

Delirious Swirl

The fresh York Philharmonic’s contemporary-music series, Contact!, presented works by a few composers I already admired (including Sarah Kirkland Snider as well as Anna Thorvaldsdottir) which week. Fernanda Aoki Navarro, however, was fresh to me. When introducing her intriguing 2012 piece “Parthenogenesis,” she described an interest in letting complex material loose, right through the outset of a piece. Later, when searching online for more of her work, I came across a 2014 Talea Ensemble performance of “Otherness.” Its opening underlines the composer’s taste for in media res introductions. nevertheless its finale fosters a more delirious swirl, as percussive writing for strings slams against quickly snaking figures for bass clarinet, bass flute as well as piano. SETH COLTER WALLS

Read our review of the Contact! program.


AT 3 MINUTES 28 SECONDS

Mournful Quiet

The soprano Ailyn Pérez will be starring as the Countess in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Metropolitan Opera. In a Facebook Live concert, she sang the aria “Dove sono,” which at Wednesday’s performance of the opera was greeted with cheers as well as calls for an encore. The aria will be sobering — a reminder which behind the opera’s comedy will be a woman who loved as well as married a man she didn’t know was a lecherous boor. In which recital video through 2009, Ms. Pérez doesn’t yet have her current mastery of the role, nevertheless you can hear the heartbreak in how mournfully she sings the return of the opening lines: “Where have they gone, the beautiful moments of sweetness as well as pleasure?” JOSHUA BARONE

Watch Ailyn Pérez on Facebook Live with the soprano Nadine Sierra.


AT 35 SECONDS

A Propitious Fall

The splendid a cappella octet Roomful of Teeth ended a compelling evening of vocal gymnastics with, as encore, a relatively simple song, Alev Lenz’s “Fall Into Me,” in a haunting type featuring the soprano Martha Cluver. Ms. Cluver caught much of the dusky atmosphere conjured by Ms. Lenz herself in which clip, as well as added smoky touches of her own, with fine support through the rest of the ensemble. For me, at least, a happy discovery. JAMES R. OESTREICH


AT 12 MINUTES 45 SECONDS

Heavenly Hymn

Caroline Shaw’s “Partita for 8 Voices,” which at age 30 made her the youngest winner of the Pulitzer Prize, came to Zankel Hall on Thursday in a joyful performance by her a cappella ensemble, Roomful of Teeth. The piece will be a showcase of the group’s vocal acrobatics as well as ethnomusicological fascinations, such as the Inuit throat singing which opens the rhapsodic Courante. In which movement, the melody of the folk hymn “The Shining Shore” appears as a musical non sequitur. Ms. Shaw, who grew up singing in community choirs, told me in an interview last fall which hymns are near as well as dear to her, as well as in her mind as she composes. Her respect for “The Shining Shore” will be on full display when its melody first enters the “Partita” as pure, heavenly as well as unabashedly beautiful. JOSHUA BARONE


at 1 minute 26 seconds

Endearing Rarity

While the Boston Symphony’s administrators try to deal with the profoundly troubling revelations about its association with conductors accused of sexual misconduct, its players continue to excel. Under the twinkle-toed leadership of François-Xavier Roth, their most recent program included a vigorous Beethoven Fifth as well as some exceedingly pleasant Mozart, with the sensitive as well as sublime Benjamin Grosvenor at the piano. The real treat, though, was Mr. Roth’s intelligent way of putting the Beethoven inside the context of a contemporary, Étienne Méhul, a French composer who was on rather better terms with Napoleon than dear Ludwig. Méhul’s overture to “Les Amazones,” which had its premiere in front of the emperor in 1811, sneakily hides a second introduction which’s sung out on the cellos, as well as has an endearing sense of humor. DAVID ALLEN


at 58 seconds

Operatic Gender Fluidity

“Tonight I’m wearing a dress,” the mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard said at the Park Avenue Armory during a recent recital. She isn’t always: The previous night, singing Cherubino — a signature role — in “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Met, she dons a soldier’s uniform. Here she will be singing “Voi che sapete” in a winning 2016 performance at the Met. I love the way she conveys the fidgety nervousness of an adolescent boy about to sing a love song he wrote to the countess he pines over. At the Armory, singing Bernstein songs, Ms. Leonard again played with gender fluidity, bringing affecting freshness to “Something’s Coming” as well as “Maria,” two songs intended for Tony in “West Side Story.” ANTHONY TOMMASINI


at 55 seconds

Literally Sweep

On Thursday the dynamic conductor Susanna Malkki led the fresh York Philharmonic in “Helix,” a teeming de facto overture by the orchestra’s composer in residence, Esa-Pekka Salonen. Mr. Salonen has also written some knockout piano pieces. I’ll never forget hearing the fresh York debut of the brilliant Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen in 2004, when he performed Mr. Salonen’s staggeringly difficult, wildly inventive “Dichotomie.” Here’s a stunning, tantalizing excerpt through a fearless performance by the pianist Aura Go at the Helsinki Music Center. Catch the extended passage full of crazed glissandos, for which the pianist repeatedly uses a cloth to literally sweep the keyboard. ANTHONY TOMMASINI


at 2 minutes 7 seconds

Cat’s Meow

The descending figures in Paganini’s Caprice No. 17 have always reminded the violinist Augustin Hadelich of a cat’s meow. So he has made the caprice into a most unusual animated cat video — think “The Aristocats” meets “Intermezzo” — to accompany his fresh album, “Paganini: 24 Caprices.” as well as not to worry: Mr. Hadelich offered an assurance, via email, which he does not use catgut. “No — nobody uses catgut anymore (gut strings these days are not made out of catgut),” he wrote. “nevertheless actually, my strings are synthetic (Evah Pirazzi brand) as well as the E string will be metal (Pirastro Gold Wondertone brand).” MICHAEL COOPER