mon 20/09/2021

choral music

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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Bach St John Passion, Bach Collegium Japan, Suzuki, Barbican review - intense pain and dancing consolation

Eyes watering, heart thumping, hands clenched: no, not The Thing, but a spontaneous reaction to the opening of Bach's St John Passion in the urgent hands of Masaaki Suzuki. How his Bach Collegium oboes seared with their semitonal clashes while bass...

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Military Wives review - the surprising true story of the women who rocked the charts

There’s a lot of plucky British charm to Military Wives, from Peter Cattaneo, the director who won the nation's heart with his debut film The Full Monty over two decades ago. His latest offering, starring Kristen Scott Thomas and...

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Bach Sunday with the Suzukis, RAM / Appl, AAM, Milton Court review - father, son and Holy Ghost

Not long after noon on Sunday, strange bells began ringing. In just 11 bars, Bach summons pairs of flutes, oboes and violas da gamba against pizzicato strings and continuo to tintinnabulate against the alto's recitative lines about a "vibrating...

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Mahler's Eighth, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - a symphony of 600

“Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound” wrote Gustav Mahler of his Eighth Symphony. “There are no longer human voices, but planets and suns revolving.” It’s an image that captures the impossible scale and mind-boggling...

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Bowers-Broadbent, Theatre of Voices, Kings Place - grit needed in the oyster

Not everyone who flocked to Day Two's evening concert in Kings Place's year-long Nature Unwrapped: Sounds of Life celebrations will have realised that they were catching parts two and three of a trilogy. The masterpiece had come earlier, in a 5pm...

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