Well mannered viewers greets odd live performance

Canberra Bach Ensemble directed by Andrew Koll performs at St Christopher’s. Picture: Peter Hislop.

Music / Canberra Bach Ensemble. At St Christopher’s Cathedral, Manuka, April 19. Reviewed by GRAHAM McDONALD.

IN 2016 I reviewed the Canberra Bach Ensemble performing two complete Bach cantatas in St Christopher’s which was most enthusiastically acquired by the viewers that night time.

The ensemble, below the course of founder Andrew Koll, was then rising from a hiatus of 16 years producing a number of concert events of Bach choral music in 2018 and 2019. Covid, in fact, bought in the way in which of such music making, and this live performance marked a second return, being promoted as a fundraiser to assist future concert events and to deal with discovering the cash to take the ensemble to BachFest in Leipzig, Germany subsequent 12 months.

This live performance concerned a choir of 24 singers and a small baroque orchestra of 10 musicians who got here and went relying on the work being carried out. This system began with a choral work from one among JS Bach’s earlier cantatas earlier than 9 brief excerpts from varied different cantatas and lots more and plenty carried out variously by soloists soprano Greta Claringbould, alto Maartje Sevenster and bass Andrew Fysh, all well-known singers within the native musical neighborhood.

Canberra Bach Ensemble at St Christopher’s. Picture: Peter Hislop.

They labored as soloists, in duos and at last as a trio. The voices of Claringbould and Sevenster work particularly effectively collectively as they’ve demonstrated typically through the years and are at all times a delight.

The instrumental accompaniment was anchored by Clara Teniswood’s cello and Anthony Smith on the organ, with varied different strings and woodwinds used at varied occasions all taking part in effectively and precisely.

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The choir returned for 3 works by German baroque composers apart from Bach, two by Heinrich Schultz and one by Andreas Hammerschmidt, which was the spotlight of the live performance.

What was lacking was any rationalization of why these explicit works had been being carried out or who or what the Canberra Bach Ensemble truly is, aside from having Andrew Koll as director.

It was an oddly programmed live performance, with the choir singing within the opening work after which disappearing for an hour whereas the soloists did their varied arias. The viewers was well mannered, with out being overly enthusiastic. In fact, the completely vile acoustics of St Christopher’s didn’t assist in partaking the viewers with the sound rising from the musicians and promptly disappearing into lifeless air. The cathedral actually is a most irritating venue for a live performance like this.

Andrew Koll conducts the Canberra Bach Ensemble. Picture: Peter Hislop.

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Ian Meikle, editor