Reviews from The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, FL

12.12.18
New York Polyphony

"The gentlemen of New York Polyphony have sung together for more than 10 years, and it is apparent in their extraordinary blend, clarity of line, and attention to historical details such as regional pronunciation of Latin. Intonation was as superb as one might expect from a twice Grammy-nominated ensemble, but more impressive was the array of tonal colors that four men could produce.

Of course, any all-male quartet that sings early music and presents Christmas programs will draw a comparison to the more famous King’s Singers. New York Polyphony takes a different approach to its programs. Even during the Christmas season, this ensemble prefers a more sophisticated approach than that of their British counterparts. The only selection that might have been considered a novelty or comedic piece was Saint-Säens’s “Sérénade d’hiver” about four young men trying to serenade a young lady in the winter.

To further the comparison, New York Polyphony seems to have chosen to bring together four voices that complement each other very well, making the overall blend of sound the goal, rather than allowing each voice its distinctive sound in the texture. Each soloed very nicely, with Phillips’ fluid bass the most convincing; but the myriad of ensemble colors was their strongest quality."
Palm Beach Daily News | December 10, 2018

"The four also teamed up for an unusual work, the Serenade d’hiver of Camille Saint-Saëns. This 1867 frolic was the kind of piece that ordinary folks joined together to sing at a piano when home music-making was a regular part of daily entertainment in the days before radio and television. Like all Saint-Saëns, it shows impeccable technique, here put to the service of a gently humorous text (by Henri Cazalis) spoken by four masked suitors desiring nothing but “a smile from your red lips.” The work provided a bit of fresh respite from the relative solemnity of the rest of the program, and New York Polyphony took full advantage of it. This was an afternoon of expert music-making by a superlative vocal quartet..."
Palm Beach ArtsPaper | December 12, 2018