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Posts tagged: choral

Marking Holy Week through Biblical Lamentations and music inspired by 20th century atrocities

By , 14/04/2017
The theme of this concert, The Desolate City, was a reason to look at two cities that have suffered terrible, war-driven destruction in living memory (Dresden and Hiroshima), and to associate physical destruction with social and moral destruction as described in Biblical accounts of cities considered to have been desolated by sin or perhaps merely by adoption of a rival religious faith. The Book of Lamentations and Psalm 137 provided... read more

Capable and well-considered performances of Arensky, Rachmaninov and Cherubini by Cantoris and their pianist conductor

By , 08/04/2017
In addition to the advertised Requiem by Cherubini, the programme was fleshed out with the most popular movement from Rachmaninov’s Vespers (‘All Night Vigil’), Op 37, and Arensky’s first piano trio. The Rachmaninov piece is the sixth movement in the 15-movement, hour-long Vespers setting, rather inaccurately called the ‘All-night Vigil’. Bogorovitse Devo (pronounced 'djevo') means ‘Rejoice, O Virgin’. It’s a short, gentle piece that introduced the choir in a beautifully quiet... read more

No Christmas without “Messiah” – with the Tudor Consort and the NZSO

  This was a remarkable performance, in many ways.  The smaller-than-usual orchestra was matched by a larger-than-usual Tudor Consort in fine voice, and splendid soloists, all directed by Australian Handel specialist Graham Abbott.  Unusually, there were no cuts in the score; all was performed.  ‘Their sound is gone out’, in Part II is usually a chorus.  But this was composed three years after the première; in the first performance it... read more

Capital Choir reveals musical values with fine performance of Donizetti’s Requiem

For an ‘all-comers’ choir, Capital Choir has achieved an enviable level of expertise, adventurousness and commitment. Under Sue Robinson, the choir demonstrated a considerable range of choral skills and abilities.  The various parts all made a good sound most of the time.  There were many quiet passages in which the choir exhibited a lovely tone.  But there were others where things threatened almost to fall apart, especially among the men... read more

Highly diverting Orpheus Choir mixes seasonal Haydn with animals and cloudbursts

By , 12/11/2016
What is detailed above, as well as a statement that further details would be announced, is the information about this concert we had received and had filed in our Coming Events, but no ‘further details’ arrived: no soloists named, no organist or piano accompanist; not even the name of the conductor, though one knew that. As we entered, we were handed a folded A4 page with the greeting – “just... read more

Tudor Consort’s 30th Anniversary Concert a selection of treasures

By , 05/11/2016
This concert marked something of a return to the “helm” for the Tudor Consort’s Music Director, Michael Stewart, who’s been working behind the scenes for most of the past year, preparing and pre-rehearsing the ensemble for its concerts with no fewer than three guest conductors. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the pre-concert talk, which perhaps might have explained more about the “vive la difference” choices for this evening’s... read more

Adventures in great music both well-known and unknown, marks strong revival by Cantoris

By , 02/10/2016
In many ways, an appealing way to design a programme: two of Mozart’s best-loved choral works and one obscure, but as it emerged, beautiful piece by an almost totally unknown composer. Emanuele d’Astorga was born in Sicily in 1680, in perhaps the most fruitful and brilliant decade in the whole history of western classical music – the decade of Vivaldi, Telemann, Rameau, Bach, Handel, Biber, Geminiani, Pachelbel, Domenico Scarlatti... read more

Passage of the Soul – commemorative and reflective beauty at Wellington Cathedral

By , 02/10/2016
It was originally intended that “Passage of the Soul”, the name given to a concert of Eastern Orthodox choral music, would take place in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, in Wellington’s Hania Street. For those of us who hadn’t been to the venue the chance to do so represented an additional incentive to attend this Baroque Voices concert, which was evocatively subtitled “Choral Whispers... read more

Challenging and enterprising concert “Freedom and Captivity” and the like, from Nota Bene

By , 01/10/2016
This concert was entitled Freedom and Captivity, reflecting, in music and words, on the experience and problems faced in wars, in colonisation, in racism and other forms of oppression. A good example of what might still be to some, an improper mixing of art and politics (recall sport and politics a generation ago). It is a worthy and fruitful topic which has inspired a lot of music and other arts... read more

Sombre Music of the Low Countries from the Bach Choir

Most of this music made me feel low, like the countries.  Only Sweelinck (1562-1621) seemed to sparkle with life, and he was much the oldest of the composers performed, the others being all from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  I decided that I liked soulful music – but not doleful music.  After hearing two sombre works (first movement from Mahler’s 10th symphony and Berg’s violin concerto) the previous evening ... read more

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