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The Courier, Ballarat

…perfectly realised vocal textures and phrasing remained a feature throughout.

Directed by Douglas Lawrence
Saturday 23 February
St John’s Church, Creswick
Four Seasons Fine Music Festival

The Australian Chamber Choir, directed by Douglas Lawrence, is an elite vocal ensemble performing a broad range of repertoire. The eight-member form, known as ACC8, presented an eclectic mixture of vocal pieces spanning over four centuries in the opening concert of the Four Seasons Fine Music Festival in St. John’s Church, Creswick.

The effect of only eight singers in the Kyrie, Benedictus and Agnus Dei from William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices, which opened the concert, created a more subtle performance than that which is usually heard. The voice blending and balance of parts were expertly handled. A similar result was achieved in the Bach motet Komm Jesu,komm and with Schaffe in mir Gott, of Brahms.

The program moved rapidly around Renaissance Europe to twentieth century England. The one excursion was a beautiful reading of American Samuel Barber’s exquisite song A Nun Takes the Veil. The skilful word setting was matched by perfect execution in Benjamin Britten’s youthful A Hymn to the Virgin, while the frivolity of Pierre Passereau’s Il est bel et bon and Thomas Morley’s My Bonny lass she smileth added delightful contrast. The perfectly realised vocal textures and phrasing remained a feature throughout.

Bronislaw Sozanski BA DipEd ATCL MVMTA