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Anthony Roth Costanzo with Les Violons du Roy triumph at University of Akron /

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American countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and the Quebec-based Baroque orchestra Les Violons du Roy, with their new music director Jonathan Cohen, made a stop at E.J. Thomas Hall at the University of Akron on Tuesday, October 16, in a presentation by Tuesday Musical. The concert included music from their recent album ARC – Glass / Handel, plus a Handel concerto grosso and an excerpt from a Philip Glass symphony.

That unusual juxtaposition of Handel and Glass was not a gimmick. In one of his entertaining spoken commentaries over the course of the evening, Costanzo noted similarities between the composers, comparing Handel's repetition of snippets of text with Glass's repetition of musical figures. There is an even more apt characteristic of both composers that Costanzo did not mention: Handel and Glass freely re-used their music in different contexts, rearranging it for the forces currently available to them.

Tuesday Musical should feel proud for presenting this unusual program, which was a triumph. An extended ovation brought an encore: a melancholy excerpt from Glass's opera The Fall of the House of Usher. It began with a long harp solo, followed by a bassoon melody. The vocal line was accompanied by radiant string arpeggios, later joined by a horn obbligato. The concert ended on a gentle, soft major chord.

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