Music / “Midsummer”, The Oriana Chorale. At Yhuuramulum (Canberra Women Grammar College Lakeside facility), December 10. Reviewed by GRAHAM MCDONALD.
FORSAKING the widespread behavior of native musical ensembles to concentrate on Christmas music presently of the 12 months, the Oriana Chorale beneath director Dan Walker selected a live performance program themed round midsummer as their last providing this 12 months.
It was a various mixture of very previous and far newer music, grouped into three blocks with the primary extra trendy interpretations of the concept of midsummer as a time of leisure, the second loosely primarily based round Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night time’s Dream” and the third part of songs about marriage. The venue was a big open area on the water’s edge in Yarralumla, with home windows overlooking the water, half rowing shed and half educating facility.
The live performance opened with a chant in honour of St John the Baptist written a 1000 years in the past adopted by the setting of a Michael Leunig poem by NZ-born composer Clare Maclean. These had been adopted by two wordless songs by early 20th century English composer Frederick Delius, one other modern work by Australian Iain Grandage and an association by Walker of George Gershwin’s “Summertime”, which cleverly averted all the standard choral cliches.
The second set of songs included “Lullaby” by Finnish composer Jaakko Mantyjarvi, which went in a lot of sudden instructions with hints of jazz and people harmonies. This preceded a setting of “Shall I Evaluate You to a Summer season’s Day” from English composer John Rutter and a sprightly music by Ralph Vaughan Williams primarily based, like “Lullaby”, on a fraction of textual content from “A Midsummer’s Night time Dream.”
The ultimate 4 songs continued in the identical type of different combos beginning with a music by the 12th century German Abbess Hildegard von Bingen after which a posh Finnish marriage ceremony music within the “yoik” model of songs of the far-northern Sami folks. The choir then organized themselves throughout the entrance and down the edges of the area for the ultimate two songs, a really fairly piece known as “The Marriage ceremony” by American composer Eric Whitacre and a music in a dance rhythm from Henry Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen” with an instrumental break on massed kazoos within the center.
This was a nice method to spend an hour on a late Saturday afternoon.
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