Our upcoming concert: Lamentations
By Andrew Raiskums
As our first programme is Easter-themed and as it’s the first concert in our 25th anniversary season, I wanted to include some works that have special resonance for us, works that are favourites from our repertoire.
The first of these is Palestrina’s double-choir Stabat Mater, which we performed often in our early years. Likewise the Tallis Lamentations, which as I recall, were part of our very first series of rehearsals. The Allegri Miserere we have performed in a number of different locations; it’s always a crowd-pleaser.
In this programme however, I started with another setting of the same text (Psalm 51) – an equally thrilling setting by Catalan composer Bernat Vivancos which calls for five choirs – all the singers arranged in a big circle – and asked to sing in up to 32 parts, with spoken passages, harmonic singing and passages where the singers sing in their own tempo. Hugely exciting and we’re giving the Melbourne premiere of this stunning work in this concert.
There is also music by Brumel – a movement from his astonishing ‘Earthquake Mass’ and music by Scottish composer James Macmillan, whose magnificent choral works we’ve enjoyed exploring over the last few years.
It’s a program of contrasts – there are moments of reflective calm and sombre beauty in the early works, then the visceral intensity of the Macmillan and the great exultant mountains of sound in the Brumel and the Vivancos.
It’s all fantastic music and I can’t wait to share it with our audience this Sunday.