Showing posts with label Mass of the Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mass of the Children. Show all posts

Monday, July 28, 2014

Triple treat from Dunedin choristers

City Choir Dunedin, Columba College Choirs and Southern Sinfonia ensemble at Knox Church, Saturday 26 July 2014

A near capacity house gave full praise for excellent performances by a showcase of local talent. Three choirs, City Choir Dunedin conducted by David Burchell, and Cantus Columba and Columba Junior Madrigal Choir conducted by Richard Madden, and soloists Cathy Sim (Soprano), Calla Knudsen-Hollebon (Soprano), James Burchell (Alto), Peter Wigglesworth (Tenor), and Clinton Fung (Bass), were most ably accompanied by section leaders from the Southern Sinfonia, pianists Sandra Crawshaw and John van Buskirk and organist Simon Mace. A well-devised programme of twentieth century works brought welcome contemporary relevance.

David Hamilton’s spirituals are a successful meld of Black American and Church of England sounds. City Choir’s enjoyment of the rhythms in Whosoever Will and Walk You in the Light produced aural security. However, divided into three, they never securely conveyed the intricate diversities of Dance-Song to the Creator.

Cantus Columba presented Minoi Minoi, Schubert’s The Lord is my Shepherd and George Harrison’s Here comes the Sun. The choir is a splendid collection of pure juvenile voices and a joy to listen to.
Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb is an occasionally disjointed work, with quirky rhythms and melodic lines and some interesting word painting from the Organ. City Choir’s articulation and aesthetic interpretation was very good.

Knudsen-Hollebon’s treble solo was stunningly beautiful with good attention to the words. James Burchell’s alto solo reveals a good voice hampered by nerves and some difficulty in the lower register. Wigglesworth’s tenor voice grows in both richness and strength and Fung’s bass recitative was also good.

Rutter’s Mass of the Children was the true highlight of the evening. All performers captured its excellently composed heart-warming beauty excellently. Sim and Fung’s voices, the wind ensemble, harp, organ and percussion and the combined choirs melded perfectly and produced pure joy.

Bravo.

Review by Marian Poole for the ODT, 28 July 2014.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mass of the Children, Saturday 26 July, Knox Church

City Choir Dunedin 
Columba Junior Madrigal Choir 
Southern Sinfonia ensemble 
Soloists: Cathy Sim, Calla Knudson-Hollebon, Clinton Fung, Peter Wigglesworth, James Burchell
Conductor: David Burchell 

Saturday 26 July 2014, 7:30 pm 

Knox Church 449 George Street, Dunedin 

This concert, conducted by David Burchell, celebrates works by the twentieth century composers John Rutter, Benjamin Britten and New Zealander David Hamilton. The Southern Sinfonia will accompany the Choir, Columba Junior Madrigal Choir will provide children’s voices and young voice students will be given the opportunity to perform in public with a massed choir and professional orchestra.

“Mass of the Children” is, unquestionably, John Rutter's most magnificent, powerful and emotional composition. Described as “absolutely breathtaking”, it is Rutter at his best. It has the added beautiful element of a children's chorus and the exquisite blending of children and adult voices in Rutter's wonderfully mesmerizing writing. Composed in 2003, two years after the tragic death of his young son, and thought to be Rutter’s way of paying tribute to his son, this work is full of promise. It is exciting and engaging. The soaring vocal lines of the combined choirs in the final movement are positively chilling!

Also on the programme are Benjamin Britten's “Rejoice in the Lamb”, or Festival Cantata, contemporary compositions by David Hamilton, “Dance-Song to the Creator” and "Three Spirituals". These works will combine to create a musical pallet which will be contemporary, dramatic and romantic.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mass of the Children concert on 26 July 2014


The first concert in the Choir’s post-150th anniversary year is to be held in the winter at Knox Church on Saturday 26 July 2014. Entitled “Mass of the Children”, this concert will include works by twentieth century composers: John Rutter, Benjamin Britten and New Zealander David Hamilton. The Southern Sinfonia will accompany the Choir, Columba College Choir will provide children’s voices and young voice students will be given the opportunity to perform in public with a massed choir and professional orchestra.

Mass of the Children is, unquestionably, John Rutter's most magnificent, powerful and emotional composition. Described as “absolutely breathtaking”, it is Rutter at his best. It has the added beautiful element of a children's chorus and the exquisite blending of children and adult voices in Rutter's wonderful mesmerizing writing. Composed in 2003, two years after the tragic death of his young son, and thought to be Rutter’s way of paying tribute to his son, this work is full of promise. It is exciting and engaging. The soaring vocal lines of the combined choirs in the final movement are positively chilling!

Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, or Festival Cantata, written sixty years before Mass of the Children, uses the imaginative and charming text from Christopher Smart’s poem Jubilate Agno (Rejoice in the Lamb). Depicting praise and worship of God by all beings and things, firstly a cat, then a mouse, then flowers, each in their own way, it erupts into a festive and jubilant climax.

In keeping with the Choir’s policy of showcasing New Zealand compositions as much as possible, City Choir includes contemporary New Zealand compositions by David Hamilton. Dance-Song to the Creator is a lively work for three choirs (City Choir will divide into three) with piano duet and percussion accompaniment. His Three Spirituals, consisting of the songs Whosoever Will, In the Garden, and Walk You in the Light, is also on offer. Hamilton’s compositions are sung by choirs throughout New Zealand and it is timely City Choir performs him again.

These works will combine to create a musical pallet which will be contemporary, dramatic and romantic.

Soloists

The staff of the University of Otago's Department of Music assists City Choir to determine the most appropriate students to contract for this concert. The involvement of the university staff, not only in the selection of suitable soloists, but also in assisting the students to prepare our repertoire, is beneficial for all parties. Every music student needs public experiences if they are to forge a career on the performance stage and City Choir is delighted to provide such opportunities again this year.