mon 16/05/2022

choral music

Bevan, Williams, Bebbington, RPO, Davan Wetton, Barbican review - Vaughan Williams celebrated

Amid the warm familiarity of a programme of established Vaughan Williams favourites, presented at the Barbican by the RPO and the City of London Choir, what really drew me in was the chance to hear his Fantasia on the “Old 104th” Psalm Tune,...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Eliane Elias - Mirror Mirror

After watching so many gigs through a computer screen, it was a joy to hear live music again in familiar haunts – from Ronnie Scott’s and the Southbank to Grand Junction, Paddington – in 2021. It made you appreciate anew not only the high-wire...

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Classical CDs: Christmas 2021, Part 1

 Michael Praetorius: Es is ein Ros Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Accentus)Oliver Geisler’s witty booklet note makes the case for Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) as “one of the best unknowns in the history of music.” Reading the...

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Monteverdi Vespers, La Nuova Musica, Bates, Wigmore Hall review - small venue, huge impact

I last heard Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, published in 1610, at Garsington Opera as the summer light of the Chilterns slowly dimmed across an airy auditorium dotted with singers who bathed us in scintillating meteor-showers of sound....

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The Creation, Academy of Ancient Music, Cummings, Barbican review - back to choral paradise

Whatever the upsets and uncertainties of this musical season, the return of choral works at full scale and full power has been an unalloyed joy. And sheer, exhilarated, heaven-storming joy branded the Academy of Ancient Music’s reading of Haydn’s...

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Hallenberg, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, Gardiner, BBC Proms review - a vindication of voices

Choral singers have suffered more than most from erratic and irrational Covid prohibitions while riskier mass pursuits have gone ahead. So when one of the world’s great choirs returned to the Proms with the conductor who has guided them for over...

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Voces8 Live from London Summer online review - choral excellence and more besides

There is much to love about the latest Voces8 Live from London online festival. It goes beyond having a purely choral line-up, embracing instrumental music for the first time, while maintaining its focus on vocal performances of the highest standard...

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Echo Vocal Ensemble, Midlands Arts Centre review - fresh and fun approach to choral singing

After meeting on the Genesis Sixteen Young Artist Scheme, this vibrant vocal ensemble has been rapidly gaining momentum since their debut at St John’s Smith Square in 2017. Under the direction of conductor Sarah Latto, the final concert in their UK...

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Tenebrae, Short, Saffron Hall review - from dark shadows to bright heavens

While the big choral societies are asking, with good cause, why they remain silenced when it’s OK for football fans to sing on the terraces, the top voices of smaller ensembles are being heard again by select audiences. Not so small, in the case of...

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London Bulgarian Choir, Kings Place review - dark Slavic tales in waves of sound

So, blinking, after too much isolation, into a spring evening for a first live indoor gig for over a year was always going to be exciting, if just for novelty value. But for a gentle breaking-in to live music, the London Bulgarian Choir was an...

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The Gesualdo Six, St Martin-in-the-Fields online review - perfectly polished polyphony

For their concert debut at St Martin-in-the-Fields, The Gesualdo Six brought a programme of English motets for the final instalment in the venue's trio of Easter concerts. Having come together for a one-off project in 2014, singing Carlo Gesualdo’s...

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Bach St John Passions from Oxford and Stockholm online review – theatrical drive from Gardiner, interiority under Harding

Last Easter, viewing options were limited: no-one who saw it will forget a version of Bach’s St John Passion from the church where it was first performed in 1724, Leipzig’s Thomaskirche, with an idiosyncratic tenor taking all the parts other than...

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