An evening of remarkable musicianship – The Australian
Last night’s concert in Hobart had the audience buzzing, with the Choir delivering another spectacular performance. The Australian’s Kevin Purcell evidently appreciated the performance, writing:
“On a chilly evening in Hobart, the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge began its inaugural concert tour of Australia at Hobart’s Theatre Royal. A capacity audience was treated to an evening of remarkable musicianship from one of the leading mixed-voice choirs in Britain, conducted by Stephen Layton.
With his 32 choral scholars — including two male altos — Layton set forth an ambitious program to reveal contrasts and juxtapositions in sacred music, Protestant and Catholic, from the 16th to the 21st centuries. The program was underpinned by an intention to demonstrate, with Layton’s pithy commentary, how this music often functioned and survived in dangerous political milieus.
The choir was not assisted by the overly dry acoustic of the Theatre Royal [however] this did not detract from some stunning performances, not least the exquisite Angelis suis Deus (2007) by Lithuanian composer Vytautas Mikinis.
The choir is drawn from undergraduate as well as graduate students and the technical facility of these fine musicians is without question.
[The choir’s] spirit… was instantly recognisable in Australian composer Paul Stanhope’s affecting Deserts of Exile, from his Exile Lamentations (2007). This is a singularly great work performed by an exceptional choir.”
Today Musica Viva’s Sydney office didn’t know what hit it as the touring party of 35 arrived, luggage and all, for afternoon tea and to meet their billeting families. The young choristers were in good spirits and gushing about trips up Mount Wellington and the beauty of Hobart. Sydney’s warmer weather was appreciated, however, as is the prospect of a rest day tomorrow. Having gratefully received their tea and advice on tourist spots around Sydney, the Choir began to slowly disperse.