The choir’s flawless intonation, impeccable blend, marvellously pure intervals, seamless contrapuntal vocal movement and their careful emphasis on text delivered an exceptional concert.

Australian Chamber Choir fills church with uplifting sacred music

Reviewed by Martin Duffy

MUSIC

AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER CHOIR ★★★★ 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

June 8  3pm

It was standing room only at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church for the Australian Chamber Choir’s celebration of Renaissance sacred music.

Directed by Douglas Lawrence, the 18 young voices and a consort of period instruments delivered a remarkably strong sound.

The acoustic’s lively reverberation assisted without obscuring elegant details of the choir’s uplifting performance.

Demonstrating the quality of individual voices, soloists are ably provided from amongst the choir’s own ranks, and included soprano Erika Tandiono and Jacob Lawrence’s arrestingly direct tenor.

The choir’s flawless intonation, impeccable blend, marvellously pure intervals, seamless contrapuntal vocal movement and their careful emphasis on text delivered an exceptional concert.

Monteverdi’s Domine ad adjuvandum from his Vespers of 1610 perfectly introduced the grandeur of the Venetian polychoral style, enhanced by the excellently raw timbre of the assembled cornetto, sackbuts, curtals, bass-voiced racket and baroque violin.

The influence of both Monteverdi and Gabrieli can be heard in the music of German Heinrich Schutz – a one-time pupil of both composers who blends the best of Venetian and Protestant traditions.

The anguish of his Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich? was balanced by the joyous and daring Freue dich des Weibes deiner Jugend.

Elizabeth Anderson’s baroque organ provided consistently sensitive continuo, with improvisations providing links between many works.

Highlights of the second half included Monteverdi’s Cantate Domino, Jacob Handl’s eight-part Pater Noster and the chromaticism of Antonio Lotti’s Crucifixus.

However the radiant polyphony of Giovanni Gabrieli’s In Ecclesiis was the perfect final word from this impressive ensemble.

Read source

Sydney Morning Herald, June 9, 2014

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