A Beatific Gesture: This Week’s 8 Best Classical Music Moments on YouTube

that decisive moment

The mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, right, as Dido in Berlioz’s “Les Troyens,” at the Metropolitan Opera in 2003.CreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

In addition to reviews, features and news during the week, our critics and reporters collect the best of what they’ve heard: notes that sent shivers down their spines, memorable voices, quotations that cut to the heart of the story. This week, we’re offering a glimpse into the research we’ve done for stories on YouTube.

Read the rest of our classical music coverage here.


A Beatific Gesture

With National Sawdust in Brooklyn currently offering a bold production of a Handel rarity, “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo,” I thought back to one of the greatest Handel singers, though her range was vast: the mezzo soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Here she is in a sublime recitative and aria from the director Peter Sellars’s landmark staging of Handel’s dramatic oratorio “Theodora” for the 1996 Glyndebourne Festival. As she begins the aria, “As with rosy steps the morn,” an expression of complete faith in the Savior, this incomparable artist, whose face was as expressive as her voice, covers her eyes with her hands, a beatific gesture that matches her tender singing. (Lieberson died of cancer at just 52 in 2006.) ANTHONY TOMMASINI 

Read our review of “Aci, Galatea e Polifema” at National Sawdust.


Plop, Plop, Plop

“Symphonie Fantastique,” Berlioz’s early masterpiece, regularly runs the risk of overexposure and irresponsible interpretation. (It comes to Tanglewood this weekend, under the baton of Andris Nelsons with the Boston Symphony.) But the score — which tells the story of a young artist’s obsessive crush, opium trip and hellfire hallucination — warrants hearing multiple times. I listen with an open ear, though there is one measure I’ve looked forward to ever since I first played it as a teenager: In the fourth…

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