Showing posts with label Schubert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schubert. Show all posts

Monday, March 30, 2015

Schubert and Mozart glorious with Sinfonia and vocalists

Mozart Requiem

Saturday 28 March 2015
Knox Church

Soloists: soprano Lois Johnston, mezzo-soprano Claire Barton, tenor Matthew Wilson and baritone Robert Tucker

City Choir Dunedin, Southern Sinfonia
Conductor David Burchell

City Choir Dunedin, Southern Sinfonia invited soloists and organist Simon Mace presented two choral masterworks in Knox Church on Saturday evening, conducted by David Burchell.

The choir of more than 100 voices was in excellent form, with reasonable numbers in bass and tenor, and a noticeable presence of younger singers in all sections, promising a healthy future for this city choir.

In 1816 Franz Schubert wrote an oratorio in 12 short movements, focusing on the anguish of Mary, the Mother of Christ. Stabat Mater (D. 383) is a beautiful assemblage of Schubert minor keys, and the performance achieved tragic tones where appropriate to match the German text, with some striking contrasts and impressive dynamics.

Woodwind passages were particularly sensitive, often in tandem with a vocalist, as in Ach, was hatten wir empfunden for oboe and tenor. Soloists were Robert Tucker (baritone), Matthew Wilson (tenor) and Lois Johnston (soprano) whose delivery achieved fitting dominance in solo passages, such as "... together at the Last Judgement", where her final phrase rose triumphantly to soar above choir and instrumentalists.

Mozart's health was failing as he embarked on composing a requiem Mass.

History records interesting "facts and fiction" surrounding the work's editing and completion by others, and it survives as the great Requiem Mass in D minor K. 626. Saturday night's performance was a celebration of the legacy of beautiful music left to the world by Mozart.

Claire Barton (mezzo-soprano) joined the soloists, and quartet passages achieved good balance generally, with text conveying conviction and empathy.

Burchell drew inspirational dynamics with impressive contrasts from his choir and musicians. Passionate shading for Lacrymosa and massive jubilant tone for Sanctus were indeed highlights, filling the packed church venue with glorious sound.

Review by Elizabeth Bouman for the ODT, Monday 30 March 2015.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Schubert in May 2008

Accolades for orchestra, choir

"Despite the holiday weekend and sport on TV, an extremely good-sized audience attended the town hall on Saturday evening to hear the Dunedin Youth Orchestra and the City of Dunedin Choir, conducted by David Burchell.

It was a great performance and accolades flowed, particularly for the DYO... The length and difficulty of the programme was a huge ask for these young players, who achieved an extremely commendable standard overall.
The choir, of well over 130 singers, was in good form, delivering a beautiful interpretation, despite there appearing to be insufficient male voices for a satisfactory blend. High register soprano clarity and intonation were particularly commendable.

Soloists... Lois Johnson.. Claire Barton... Andrew Grenon... Chris Bruerton... their frequent harmonic passages were perfectly balanced, refreshingly light and appealing."

(Extract from the review by Elizabeth Bouman in the Otago Daily Times of 1 June 2008.)

Performance: Franz Schubert's Mass No. 5 in A Flat, Dunedin Town Hall, 31 May 2008