Excellent quality as always. - Josef Mitschitzky, Organist, Ottobeuron Basilika
The Australian Chamber Choir is attracting an increasing following. This can be attributed to three major factors: the quality of the performances, the choice of repertoire, and the suitability of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a venue. The acoustic of this Middle Park church provides a splendid vehicle to showcase the vocal and musical strengths of this 18 voice choir. On Sunday afternoon, a fine blending of strong voices with secure intonation and a surprisingly broad dynamic range responded to the direction of Douglas Lawrence with assurance.
The program’s most challenging music, a terse but harmonically grinding Miserere extracted from Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion, enjoyed a lucid reading from the 17-strong ensemble, who handled its pungent intervallic clashes with controlled vigour, the emotional aura of regret and sorrow coming across with singular success.
Before Sunday, I had never seen a choir performance except on Christmas day or during a Qantas ad … It was instantly apparent that each individual was uniquely gifted and that together, the talent of these perfectly-synchronised individuals was simply outstanding.”
Many of the singers featured as soloists and all were stunning. With such individual standards, no wonder the ensemble sounds so impressive.
In Leipzig we have several excellent choirs … Of the many visiting choirs we hear, not many come up to our standard. The Australian Chamber Choir did.
Nicht nur bei Tierrufen stimmsicher
Eine phänomenale Nachtmusik im Münster
… the sound produced by this ensemble was quite simply phenomenal: flawless intonation, superb uniformity, perfect tonal balance, astounding dynamic range and sleek voice-leading. An Ave verum of William Byrd convinced through its heavenly ethereal sound.
Not many choirs touch the heart; this was one such choir.
The young ensemble under the direction of Douglas Lawrence began softly with Schütz’s tender motet: Selig sind die Toten (Blessed are the Dead) in German and convincing with their homogeneous sound in further sacred works by Byrd and in the radiant Jubilate Deo of Gabrieli.
The Australian Chamber Choir: small in number but great in voice, sensitive and vocally perfect. …
Conductor Douglas Lawrence has created an ensemble that sings with utmost precision and utmost sensitivity, possessing a perfectly balanced choral sound. …
Already the first piece “Selig sind die Toten” (Blessed are the Dead) by Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) hovered weightlessly in the space of the nave, wholly in the spirit of the text. “Factum est silentium” by Richard Dering (1585-1672) worked a dense polyphony into a perfectly-weighted structure, in which the voices swung to and fro like bells.
In J.S. Bach’s motet Jesu meine Freude one could clearly recognize director Douglas Lawrence’s penetrating interpretation, the musical shape strictly governed by the text, endowing the recurrent main melody with interesting variants. On an emotional level the gently blended voices and their balanced distribution often lent the text additional inner meaning …
… it was especially gratifying that these professionally trained, mostly young singers were met by a large audience in Ries.
We look forward with keen anticipation to a further visit from this formidable ensemble.
SACRED AND SPINE-CHILLING by Clive O'Connell ... Allegri's Miserere ... was fluent and blessed with an excellent soprano who executed spine-chilling top Cs with comfortable assurance... Lawrence
by Clive O'Connell ONLY three years old, the Australian Chamber Choir attracts a large body of enthusiastic followers, larger even than several older Melbourne choral organisations.
The modern works “Lamentations” (Hodgson), “Magnum mysterium” (Kristof) and “O sacrum convivium” (Messiaen) all portrayed a highly effective sonic magic.