Excessive class all the best way with the Tune Firm

The Tune Firm at Wesley Church. Photograph: Hayley Manning.

Music / “Songs Underneath the Southern Cross”, The Tune Firm. At Wesley Uniting Church, March 14. Reviewed by ROB KENNEDY.

CHORAL music, whether or not it comes from a whole lot of years in the past or simply yesterday, could make you are feeling extra related to humanity than anything, particularly when it’s sung this good.

The Tune Firm is Australia’s nationwide vocal ensemble. They’ve been going for nearly 40 years. There’s not a lot they haven’t sung, and on this live performance, we heard music from 300 years in the past to the simply current.

The performers have been Amy Moore, visitor director and soprano; Susannah Lawergren, soprano; Jessica O’Donoghue, mezzo-soprano; Louis Hurley, tenor; Hayden Barrington, baritone; Aidan O’Donnell, bass baritone and Francis Greep, continuo.

The live performance opened with a chunk titled “A Imaginative and prescient of Julian Norwich”, by native and recognized medieval music composer David Yardley. Lawergren stood solo on stage as she sang out the imaginative and prescient, the opposite singers off stage, one making a backing drone. This brief, extremely delicate piece echoed gloriously via the church, creating a shocking opening.

The group all moved to their stands and commenced Anne Boyd’s “Revelations of Divine Love”, (1993). Additionally, starting with a drone, the six voices all sang what appeared like particular person strains, making a wall of suspenseful music.

That is an eclectic work that crossed a spread of musical territories. From nearly silent to a full-voiced harmonious forte, it was additionally a fragile and profound piece.

Richard Dering’s (1580-1630) “Factum est silentium”, got here subsequent. One other brief piece that confirmed the harmonious traits that this sextet of high-quality singers can produce; they sound so good collectively.

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“Southern Cross Chants”, (2004) by Ross Edwards adopted. With percussion devices included, it started amid a name and response between two male voices, with intermittent clapping from the third. All of the singers got here in after which the percussion within the type of a drum, then chimes and later clap sticks. It was a most eclectic piece the place a chanting theme held all of it collectively.

It was a fancy work with moments of refined magnificence and subtlety. Whereas it contained a whole lot of materials, its dots all joined collectively to create a vibrant, extremely unique work. It included a ritualistic-sounding mushy tapping on the drum because the singers floated round this rhythm. What an astounding piece of writing, singing and efficiency it was.

With Greep on continuo, a small organ, J.S. Bach’s, “Jesu, meine Freude”, BWV 227, which was written in 1723 started to unravel. Voices resonating a 300-year-old piece can present how human connection runs deep.

A fragile opening prolonged into units of voices in contrapuntal singing, which added depth and texture to this expression of friendship and love. The richness of this work fills the ear with a stability of voices in accord and in opposition to themselves.

The unisons made a profound assertion alongside the multiple-line sections. Whereas this piece could also be higher suited with extra voices, with the Tune Firm in command, it was excessive class all the best way, as was the entire live performance.