Showing posts with label Lullabies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lullabies. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Accolades for Lullabies concert

Some feedback from the Lullabies concert of 2 September 2017, in Knox Church:

Praise for Anthony Ritchie work: 
"Anthony Ritchie - congratulations on the very successful debut/premiere of 'Lullabies' at Knox Church last night. The work was captivating from first 'hush' to last whisper. Your music set the words with wonderful sensitivity, imaginative sound painting and limning of the myriad moods. David Burchell, City Choir Dunedin and the choirs of St Hilda's and Columba were polished and powerful; Tom Chatterton was outstanding, playing sensitively and astutely balancing the various vocal forces artistically - his organ registrations, apt at every turn. Kudos for this, your latest triumph. John van Buskirk, ODT 5 Sep 2017

Thank you so much for the wonderful program last night. It was thoroughly enjoyable. The mix of items and the mix of voices was great. Dunedin's choral history is in good hands! Again, thank you!
Moss Arnot (Facebook)

Congratulations on a fine concert last evening! Especially the performance of the Duruflé, I felt was spiritually inspired and a deeply moving musical experience. Thank you.
Jack Pritchard (Email to City Choir)

I attended last night's performance and was mesmerised from beginning to end. The precision of the choir was impressive and the voice blend was magical. Children and soloists equally fabulous. The friends I was with were equally impressed.
Brenda Jones (Email to City Choir)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Captivating choral cycle 'Lullabies' debuts

City Choir Dunedin. Photo: Ian Thomson
Saturday 2 September 2017
Knox Church

Knox Church rang with the sound of choral music on Saturday evening, as many singers contributed to a programme entitled "Lullabies", presented by City Choir Dunedin, with choirs from Columba College and St Hilda’s Collegiate. David Burchell conducted, Tom Chatterton (Wellington) accompanied at the organ, and the venue was almost filled.

This was Dunedin’s first performance of Anthony Ritchie’s Lullabies (2015), a captivating choral cycle with text from six poems by Dunedin-based poet Elena Poletti.

The songs differ in mood, depicting children’s bedtime and sleep, and are astutely scored with contrasting timbres of youthful choirs and adult mixed-voice harmonies.

Shush-a-shush opened with organ obligato, whispered "Shushes" and calm entreaties of slumber. Little One featured soprano Sophie Morris, in very professional deliveries of long sweetly toned phrases. Penguins brought a change of style with "tiny blue penguins" scurrying about as children prepared for bed, and The Night Singers featured Morris soaring above impressive harmonic choral textures depicting sounds of the night. Beddington and Hope of My Heart completed the half-hour cycle, which was highlighted throughout with colourful organ accompaniment.

The school choirs each presented a bracket of three songs and City Choir two choral pieces — a rather mundane delivery of Cantique de Jean Racine (Faure) conducted by Mark Anderson, and Tavener’s Song for Athene where exciting crescendo passages exonerated earlier intonation deviancy.

The second big work, Maurice Durufle’s Requiem contained some impressive choral endeavour, particularly in Sanctus, but overall rather too many untidy moments and pitch insecurity in the male ranks. Alex Lee sang strong baritone solos, and cello obligato came from Elaine Wilden. Soprano Beth Goulstone (replacing an indisposed mezzo at very short notice) coped admirably in the higher solo passages, however her low register lines were valiant but weak. My player-of-the-day went to Chatterton for virtuosic precision, clarity and balance of colour at the organ.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Bouman for the Otago Daily Times, 4 September 2017.

More accolades for the Lullabies concert...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lullabies on Saturday 2 September


Saturday 2 September 7:30 pm
Knox Church

SOLOISTS: Sophie Morris (soprano), Claire Barton (mezzo-soprano), Alex Lee (baritone)
ORGANIST: Thomas Chatterton

Anthony Ritchie: Lullabies
Gabriel Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine 
John Tavener: Song for Athene
Duruflé: Requiem

“Anthony Ritchie... one of the greatest composers of his time.”

City Choir is pleased to present Anthony Ritchie’s Lullabies, composed in 2015 for soprano, adult and children’s choirs. It is a cycle of six songs to poems by Dunedin-based poet Elena Poletti. 

Lullabies are common to all cultures, and are richly varied in their themes and moods. These six lullabies traverse different perspectives, both from the adult and from the child. In some the parent calms the child for sleep by conjuring up various gentle images, while in others it is the children singing the songs to put them in the sleep frame of mind. All the forces come together in the last song, to round off the cycle.

“Anthony’s music is engaging – energetic, beautifully crafted and imbued with a distinct melodic touch.”

Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, first performed in 1947 at the end of World War II, was dedicated to the memory of his father. Duruflé’s Requiem is calmer and more meditative than some other settings of the requiem. The beautiful Pie Jesu movement has the only solo for the mezzo-soprano.

Duruflé was incredibly self-effacing, and spent considerable time re-working his compositions until they achieved what he felt was the correct level of perfection. In this work he took the Gregorian plainchant Mass for the Dead as his raw material, clothing the sometimes archaic-sounding melodies in the sophisticated harmonies of the early modern school. Duruflé’s sensuous harmonies suffuse every note with feeling. Duruflé explains: “This Requiem is not an ethereal work which sings of detachment from human concerns. It reflects, in the unchanging form of Christian prayer, the anguish of man faced with the mystery of his final end.”

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