St. Mary the Virgin, known by its many fans as "Smoky Mary's" due to the fact that, with its high Anglican services and its fairly modest size (being a midtown church jammed into the middle of a city block after all), once the incense gets going, there will be more than a few folks coughing and wiping tears from the corners of their eyes. I'm being overly dramatic, but just to be cautious, I keep my visits to between services, or when there are concerts there.
Most recently, in conjunction with Lincoln Center's White Light Festival, St. Mary the Virgin hosted a concert given by the Ensemble Basiani from the Republic of Georgia. This group is absolutely extraordinary. I had heard them previously as part of a Mostly Mozart mini-festival exploring polyphonic music at Alice Tully Hall, which was great, but this time, hearing them all by themselves, in a more intimate space with a supportive acoustic, was much much nicer.
A nice touch at the end was that there was a bit of a reception in a hall just to the left of the sanctuary. It was great to have a small glass of wine and shake the hands of a few of the gentlemen of the chorus.
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