"Three stars

Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra; Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul;

Dec. 15

Once again, the ICO and the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir teamed up for the holiday favorite everyone loves, George Frederic Handel’s Messiah, and they did a good job of it. The strings of the ICO are a solid group, most especially the lower section. The basso continuo (cellos, bass and harpsichord) were the most pleasing, by far, with their warm playing that seemed to have a comforting weight about it. The ISC sung well much of the time, as did the four soloists: Kiera Duffy, soprano, Jennifer Lane, mezzo soprano, Brian Stucki, tenor, and Thomas Scurich, bass. I was a bit shocked by some of the tempos ICO director Kirk Trevor took, particularly for “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” making some of the melismas (many notes sung over one syllable) almost seem undoable and indistinct. I do hope they choose a new venue next year; I can understand the desire to perform this work in a cathedral, yet it often made this piece sound mushy and destroyed the diction of the singers. Overall, however, the performance was good, and I look forward to hearing it again next year.

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