I was especially eager to hear Jeffrey Gall — for 30 years one of America's most celebrated countertenors — in his first Boston appearance as a baritone. The lower of his two arias, the "Quoniam," was firm and vivid; the higher one, with Bach's jazzy, all-but-syncopated setting of "sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam," was brilliant. Welcome to a major new baritone. Mezzo-soprano Krista River was rather wasted in the second-soprano role, but countertenor Martin Near passed muster in the great alto parts, and soprano Jessica Cooper and American tenor Thomas Cooley, who's been singing in Germany for a decade, were enchanting in the "Domine Deus" duet (with Krueger). Teeters elicited from all the singers, even the chorus, an appealing and unaffected naturalness. "The conductor and performers offer this concert," the program read, "in honor of the life and work of Thomas Dunn," the recently deceased conductor and early-music pioneer who in his two decades as director of the Handel and Haydn Society (1967–1986) shaped, changed, and made more sophisticated the musical life of this city.
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