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Posts tagged: choral

Excellent performances of UK and US music from Wellington Youth Choir

By , 09/06/2017
The Sacred Heart Cathedral is a good place for singing – for both singers and listeners, and so it was especially good to hear this generally well-schooled and enthusiastic young choir, in a wide variety of songs. The British song tradition The concert began with an account of God Save the Queen, which prompted no one to stand, because it was clearly an arrangement, and a rather entertaining arrangement of the... read more

Choral singing flourishes in Wellington region Big Sing gala concert

As I said in 2015 (in a review of the Big Sing National Finale concert), it is marvellous to find so many young people taking part in choirs and obviously enjoying it.  Apparently there are more choirs in the 2017 Festival than ever before, and it seems to me that the standard is always rising.  The fact that all the choirs learn all their pieces by heart is staggering... read more

Acclamation for Auckland Viva Voce’s remarkable performance of enthralling work on pilgrimage: Camino de Santiago de Compostela

The programme’’s sub-title for the work was “Joby Talbot’s stunning choral depiction of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.”  The blurb was right; this was a truly remarkable work, of just over an hour’s almost constant unaccompanied singing (apart from the periodic use of 8 traditional small cymbals,or crotales), with no applause until the end. Talbot is a 46-year-old British composer who has written in many genres, including opera and ballet... read more

Renowned Bach scholar and conductor Suzuki with fine baroque ensemble Juilliard415

It is wonderful for audiences in New Zealand to welcome back Masaaki Suzuki, this time with an ensemble of students from the famous Juilliard School based at the Lincoln Center in New York.   The 18 instrumentalists came from 8 different countries. Suzuki, as well as running his own choral and orchestral ensembles and teaching in Tokyo, teaches also at Juilliard.  He is a renowned Bach scholar and conductor, and... read more

Baroque Voices pay rich homage to NZ “Masters”

By , 28/05/2017
This concert was the eighth in the "Alleluia: a newë work" series by Baroque Voices, the idea being, in director Pepe Becker's own words, to "present works from the early music era alongside modern compositions", an undertaking which the group first instigated as long ago as 1995. Though the presentations have been consistent in their overall approach, the ensemble has managed to maintain an ever-fascinating and invariably rewarding range of... read more

Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem given spirited and scrupulous performance by Tudor Consort

By , 27/05/2017
Brahms’s Requiem is known well enough by name and reputation to all tolerably interested in Music, but fewer would be familiar with it or have actually heard it live. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it in live performance, and have, somewhat to my embarrassment only become familiar with it on recordings in the last twenty years or so. The Orpheus Choir, naturally, has been its main advocate in... read more

Peter Walls steps in to conduct Bach Choir in Vivaldi and the Bach family

Great praise is due to Peter Walls for the success of this concert; previous conductor Peter de Blois had departed overseas leaving rather short notice for the preparation of the music.  Without this explanation, the audience would hardly be aware that ample time was not available for rehearsal, such was the high standard of most of the music presented.  One item originally scheduled, by J. Christian Bach, was dropped ... read more

Kindred Spirits indeed – Nota Bene and Guests at Sacred Heart Cathedral

The choral concert, 'Kindred Spirits', by Nota Bene Chamber Choir and guests, was a luminous and lovely affair. The themed programme juxtaposed compositions of Benjamin Britten and Jack Body, offering more substance than a 'regular' concert might, the sum more than its parts. The acoustic in this light-filled space is clear and clean, and enterprising use was made of different areas in the church. Good sightlines make it a most... read more

Orpheus Choir’s “Chichester Psalms” concert terrific! – but James MacMillan has the last word……..

By , 29/04/2017
As with music and art in general, people's responses to matters of spiritual belief seem to vary enormously from individual to individual. Despite what seems like an ever-increasing secularisation of everyday life, we’re still can’t help being either active or passive observers of institutionalised calendar commemorations based on matters of belief in God which affect various human activities - we're regularly made aware of certain historical frameworks and structures... read more

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

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