Every Christmas season finds chestnuts roasting by an open fire and being played in concert. This time JoAnn Falletta, along with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, tossed a slight wrinkle into proceedings and it helped differentiate it from other seasonal offerings they’ve performed in the past.
The singers of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, big and strong, threw themselves into the Ode to Joy with gusto. Elation filled the hall. Falletta, throwing herself literally into the music, went airborne once or twice. Seeing her fling her arms wide at the word "Elysium," all you could think was, Freude. Joy! The applause went on long after the music ended.
These days, Anderson does her singing as a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus.
Anderson says singing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus brings positive change to her life. “I am calmer, happier, more centered and balanced in my life. Singing makes me a better mother, a better wife, a better faculty member and a better psychologist,” she says.
The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, resplendent in red, was in fine form. Adam Luebke, the chorus' music director, has been doing a good job. The singers' diction shone in Rutter's "Candlelight Carol." You could catch every word. Chorus and orchestra joined in a great zesty rendition of "Jauchzet Frohlocket" from Bach's joyous "Christmas Oratorio." The voices jumped out at you. Timpani and trumpets went to town. It was a triumph.
One high point was an a cappella turn by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, led by its director, Adam Luebke. The singers sang the hymn “Unclouded Day,” by Josiah Alwood, a 19th century Midwestern preacher. It’s an uplifting, up-tempo song – Willie Nelson has sung it – and the choral arrangement has tremendous bounce and good feeling. Looking it up on YouTube, I wasn’t surprised to read that a listener wrote: “One of my favorite songs to listen to on a loop.”