Showing posts with label Verdi Requiem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Verdi Requiem. Show all posts

Friday, July 5, 2013

Performance a triumph


"The soft opening passages of choral texture with orchestra melded as one, with long sustained release of "m's" ending the word "Requiem" exquisitely effective." ...
"Spine-tingling choral highlights were numerous, and the recurring crescendo descending scale passages in the Dies irae saw Direcotr David Burchell's vision for the choir realise fulfilment on this occasion."

Review by Elizabeth Bouman, The Star, 4 July 2013.

Verdi Requiem, 27 June 2013, Town Hall at the Dunedin Centre.
NZSO with City Choir Dunedin, conducted by Pietari Inkinen

(Click image to enlarge)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Requiem still thrills for Verdi's 200th birthday


Verdi's Messa da Requiem, Lisa Harper-Brown, Margaret Medlyn, Rosario La Spina, Judd Arthur, Orpheus Choir, Members of City Choir Dunedin, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pietari Inkenen, Michael Fowler Centre, Saturday 29 June 2013.
Reviewed for the Dominion Post by John Button.

"The Verdi Requiem is an immensely popular work and the Fowler Centre was predictably very full for this tingling performance."

Correction: City Choir Dunedin sent 60 singers to the performances in Auckland and Wellington, and 80 singers to Christchurch. City Choir had 140+ singers in Dunedin.

Other reviews of the Wellington performance:

Rachel Hyde on Radio NZ Concert Upbeat, 1 July 2013

Tremendous panache from performers in Verdi’s epic Requiem by Frances Robinson for Middle C

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cruelty of mortality thrillingly expressed


One hundred and fifty years and many reincarnations later, the City Choir Dunedin might deserve a less backhanded tribute from the Dunedin City Council but, as one reflection of the city, endures as a powerful statement of European culture in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Their celebration of this feat was greatly enhanced by joining forces with the NZSO under the direction of Pietari Inkinen. The excellence of the performance was not lost on the crowded house, which gave thunderous prolonged applause with shouts and stamping feet as if to crack the Dunedin Town Hall’s floorboards. 

Verdi’s Requiem is an astonishingly unnerving work, replete with the mystery and Christian fear of death. Rising from the murky quiet of “Kyrie”, “Dies Irae” [The Wrath of God] unleashes a doomsday thunder. Siren screams and the tight trills of Satan’s seduction illustrate what awaits the dying. Although there are occasional lighter moments in “Sanctus”, a statement of piety, “Agnus Dei” [Lamb of God] and “Lux Eterna” [Eternal Light], this is a grim work of highly gothic Romanticism. It revels in beautiful terror and has intensely chilling power. Put briefly, it is a highly successful expression of the cruelty of human mortality. 

All sections of Orchestra and Choir were notable for the supreme dedication to creating an excellent performance, although some the Choir’s fugal passages would have gained more moment through a greater show of confidence. 

The soloists, soprano Lisa Harper-­Brown, mezzo-soprano Margaret Medlyn, tenor Rosario La Spina and bass Judd Arthur produced some spell-binding, delicate and blockbuster moments. Special mention has to go to the impeccably beautiful ensemble work in “Lacrimosa” [Weeping], Harper-Brown and Medlyn’s truly glorious duet “Recordare” [Remember] and to Harper-­Brown’s dramatically compelling “Libera Me” [Deliver Me]. 

One wonders what else we can expect from future collaborations between the imperial forces of the NZSO and City Choir Dunedin.

Review by Marian Poole, Otago Daily Times, 28 June 2013.

Verdi Requiem, 27 June 2013, Dunedin Town Hall.
NZSO with City Choir Dunedin, conducted by Pietari Inkinen

Audience comments: 
'Absolutely spine-tingling'
'I've never sat so still for so long, it was riveting'
'Brilliant and amazing!'
'Thank you that was fantastic. You are lucky being able to do it all again.'
'Watched everything closely, you guys never missed a step.'
'Electrifying concert last night in Dunedin everyone!! Well done!!'
'Thoroughly wonderful evening. Kind regards and my commendations to all in your "Big Sing" hearts and minds in harmony...'

"'Requiem' by NZSO, city choir wonderful" - reads the headline of the Civis column in the ODT on Saturday 6 July. "Last week's performance of Verdi's 'Requiem' by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and City Choir Dunedin was outstanding: dramatic and exciting for a large audience... And there was an eerie sensation when trumpets sounded from the door just behind us, answering those in the opposite circle doorway, and in the orchestra. The performance was deeply moving, and a magnificent way to celebrate the choir's sesquicentennial. Congratulations to the choir, and to David Burchell, its Director."

And here's another report, this time by Mike Crowl, who also enjoyed the Dunedin performance.

Were you there? What did you think of the performance? Leave a comment here or send us an email to - we'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ethereal magic in sacred work


"The opening, fragile and barely audible, was magical, setting the scene for the whole performance, secure and sensively shaped by Pietari Inkenen" says David Sell in The Press.

Verdi Requiem, 26 June 2013, Canterbury CBS Areana, Christchurch. NZSO with Christchurch City Choir and members of City Choir Dunedin, conducted by Pietari Inkinen

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Verdi concert welcome ray of sunshine


"Pietari Inkenen created a mood of appropriate serenity while the combined voices of Auckland Choral and Dunedin's City Choir moved smoothly, within seconds, from whispered testaments of faith to rousing a capella.

The great hurled cries of the Dies Irae were spectacular, against the orchestra's sonic fire and brimstone."

Reviewed by William Dart for the NZ Herald.

Verdi's Messa da Requiem, with soloists Lisa Harper-Brown, Margaret Medlyn, Rosario La Spina, Judd Arthur, Auckland Choral, 60 members of City Choir Dunedin, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pietari Inkenen, Auckland Town Hall, Saturday 22 June 2013.

Other reviews of the Auckland performance:

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and a star tenor shine in Verdi's Requiem in Auckland by Simon Holden

The day of judgment by Rod Bliss in The Listener of 6-12 July 2013 (click to view larger size):

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Verdi Requiem in May 2000

Performance enthrals audience

The City of Dunedin Choir shared top billing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the Town Hall on Saturday evening [27 May 2000] in a magnificent performance of Verdi's Requiem.

Musical director David Burchell has certainly brought out the best in this 150-member choir. Intensive preparation and disciplined rehearsals have lifted them to the heights required for performance with a professional orchestra of international standing and international soloists.

Confident and forthright singing came from all sections of the choir throughout.

Verdi's Requiem covers the full range of choral and orchestral nuance and conductor James Judd delivered a highly dramatic and impassioned Requiem, in strong Verdian style.

Even familiarity with requiem components and the non-secular text failed to keep heavy operatic overtones at bay and the large audience was presented with a musical fresco of emotional extremes.

Full-bodies tumultous assaults marked the opening of each "Dies Irae" chorus with thrilling effect and little use was made of accepted rubato practice to allow the more subdued passages of rich harmonic testures to linger.

The soloists generally followed strong forthright deliveries in keeping with the entire mood, but with occasional lapses in projection of emotional commitment to the text.

The solemn beauty and soaring strength of the final Soprano aria Lord, deliver me out of everlasting death rang out before the subdued final phrases "Save me, Oh Lord", then a moment of absolute silence cued tumultuous applause from an enthralled audience.

Soloists were soprano Lisa Gasteen, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Campbell (both from Australia), tenor Anson Austin and bass Rodney McCann (both New Zealand born).

Review by Elizabeth Bouman in the ODT, Monday 29 May 2000.

What a wonderful performance that was!
Come hear City Choir Dunedin and the NZSO do it again:

Thursday 27 June, 6:30 pm, Dunedin Town Hall 

Tickets are now on sale!