mon 19/02/2018

choral music

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Milton Court review - Arvo Pärt plus

Make Arvo Pärt the bulwark of any concert and you can surprise as well as delight the full house he’s likely to win you with the rest of your chosen programme. This was a beautifully planned showcase for the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under...

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Bach Cantatas - not just for Christmas

Faced with yet another new work premiered by the Borodin Quartet, Shostakovich asked a daunting question: "but have you played all of Haydn's quartets yet?". Of course they hadn't, and felt justly rebuked. As a listener and sometime performer, I...

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Coates, Tenebrae, Short, Kings Place review - effective meeting of cello and choir

This time of year lots of choirs give lots of Christmas concerts that are more or less the same: traditional repertoire perhaps sprinkled with a few novelties. But Tenebrae’s concert on Saturday at Kings Place broke the mould with some imaginative...

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The Tallis Scholars, Phillips, Cadogan Hall review - intimacy in late Renaissance music

Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars have nothing to prove when it comes to Renaissance choral music – few ensembles can match them for clarity, balance and purity of tone. They are perfect guides, then, for this tour of the late Italian...

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Proms 47, 48 & 49 review: Reformation Day - superlative Bach as the bedrock

Reformation Day, Luther 500 - in Proms terms it can only mean Bach, the alpha and omega of music, flourishing roughly two centuries after the Wittenberg Nightingale nailed his 95 theses to the church door. Those of us who headed home on Saturday...

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Prom 46 review: Gurrelieder, LSO, Rattle - gorgeous colours, halting movement in Schoenberg's monsterpiece

From sunset to sunrise, across aeons of time, usually flashes by in Schoenberg's polystylistic epic. Not last night at the Proms: Simon Rattle is too much in love with the sounds he can get from the London Symphony Orchestra - here verging on a...

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Proms 37 / 38 review: Latvian Radio Choir, Gavrylyuk, BBCSSO, Dausgaard - numinous Rachmaninov triptych

So it was Rachmaninov night at the Proms, but with a difference: a trinity of works sacred and profane, the first two introduced by the Latvian choir due to perform the third singing harmonised Russian Orthodox chants of the kind on which the...

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Cadogan Hall review - peace, love and harmonies

On a dreary evening in what passes for summer, the news unutterably grim, an evening in the company of South Africa’s greatest export can’t help but lift the spirits. The nine singers that comprise Ladysmith Black Mambazo are mostly blood family,...

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Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour review - West End transfer hits all the right notes

Sacred and profane, trivial and profound blissfully combine in this irresistible, Olivier Award-winning tale of choirgirls gone wild. Lee Hall, of Billy Elliot fame, adapts Alan Warner’s 1998 novel with a similarly shrewd grasp of youthful hope...

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Monteverdi Vespers, Vox Luminis, FBC, St John's Smith Square

On paper this was a knockout concert: Gramophone Award-winning Belgian ensemble Vox Luminis teaming up with the wonderfully gutsy Freiburg Baroque Consort to perform Monteverdi’s Vespers in the composer’s 450th anniversary year – one of the...

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CD: Kasai Allstars & Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste - Around Félicité

This is a bit of a curiosity. Kasai Allstars were bought to our attention by producer Vincent Kenis almost a decade ago, after he’d had great success with those masters of the amplified thumb piano cacophony, Konono 1. Though the Allstars also have...

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Dvořák Requiem, BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Barbican

Not your usual blockbuster for Holy Week, this. In other words, neither of the Bach Passions but a Requiem, and not – these days, at any rate – one of the more often-performed ones (it's not among the 79 works listed in The BBC Proms Guide...

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