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Monthly archives for August, 2018

Singing the Classics 12 Aug 2018

The last For the Joy of Singing the Classics afternoon for this year, singing through Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, is set for Sunday week, 12th August, at Wesley Church, 100 Yarra Street, Geelong from 2-5pm.

Dona Nobis Pacem is a 6-movement cantata, in which Vaughan Williams has chosen text from Walt Whitman, written to describe why war should never occur again. Some OT texts are included, too.

Whitman was a medical orderly in the American Civil War and had experience of the effects of war, and his poetry is alive with feeling. The work is very much a choral work, with the orchestra used to support the meaning of the texts, and solo soprano and baritone lines set beautifully. We’ve chosen it for its beauty and because of the proximity of the centenary of Armistice Day.

Cost is $15 inclusive of all music and afternoon tea.

Enquiries and bookings: pandapil@skymesh.com.au, mob: 0412 524 316.

Faure Requiem

Sunday 5 August 2018, Requiem by Faure and other French choral music.

St Paul’s Anglican Church, LaTrobe Terrace, Geelong at 2.30pm.

2018-Faure-DL

Reviews

Entertainment Geelong
The Stars Aligned in Concert
Fauré Requiem with motets by Fauré, Duruflé, Gounod, Franck & Villette sung by the Geelong Chorale, conducted by Allister Cox. St Paul’s Church, August 5, 2018.

Only rarely does it happen, when the stars align, the ducks are in a row, all the hard-work preparation pays off and fortune smiles on a single performance.

That all happened with this concert.
I don’t think that I have ever heard the Geelong Chorale in better voice. What’s more, its choice of material and soloists was perfect, the venue’s acoustics allowed pinpoint clarity – and the audience relished every note, every flourish and every syllable of conductor Allister’s introductory remarks.

This was a concert that grew to become a memorable occasion.
Its music was drawn mostly from the works of 19th Century French composers with Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem the principal work, taking up all of the concert’s second half.
For this, the Chorale had brought in soprano soloist Lisa Breen, whose warm, rounded tones and precise clarity was perfect for the solo piece Pie Jesu; and baritone Tom Healey, who matched Lisa for precision and added elements of power and pathos in his Libera Me.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Lisa or Tom sing better, either. Their voices jigsawed seamlessly into the flawless elegant rendition that the Chorale was providing.
Add in Frank De Rosso’s masterly accompaniment on the St Paul’s pipe organ – which must, surely be the best in our region – and the combined interpretation could only be described as glorious.

And that was, if you like, only the main course.
We had been prepared for this by a series of appetisers starting with the well-known favourite in Cesar Franck’s Panis Angelicus delivered by the Chorale with al the warmth and flavour you would expect from bread made in heaven. This was followed by six short motets from De Several, Duruflé Saint-Saëns, Villette and Fauré along with a resounding version of Gounod’s Ave Maria featuring soloist Lisa.

The Chorale, for this concert, was smaller than usual and in an unfamiliar formation. Its eleven sopranos were ranged to conductor Allister’s left, with his 13 altos to the right, separated by the central male component of three tenors and seven basses.
Whether it was this configuration, the reduced size, or perhaps the make-up of voices, but this format sounded simply glorious given those perfect acoustics in St Paul’s church.

And such was their appreciation that following the performance, many audience members remained, waiting to congratulate the conductor, soloists, accompanist and individual Chorale members as they trickled in, wearing the satisfied smiles of people who knew they had made a first-class performance of an excellent concert, and all on a day when the god(s) were smiling, too.

— Colin Mockett

Photos

 

In Paradisum – rehearsal video