BWW REVIEW: Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Joins With Hannover's Capella St Crucis For A Moment Of Easter Escape With BACH AND MOZART: IN THE IMAGINATION OF THEIR HEARTS
Saturday 20th April 201, 2pm, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Baroque, Classical and Contemporary music comes together for Sydney Philharmonia Choirs' Easter concert BACH AND MOZART: IN THE IMAGINATION OF THEIR HEARTS. Featuring the award winning Capella St.Crucis from Hannover, the Chamber Singers, Symphony Chorus and Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra combine to present a delightful interlude between Easter's holy days.
The concert features XLX MENTE CORDIS SUI, a new work by internationally acclaimed composer Antony Pitts, led by Sydney Philharmonia Choir's Artistic and Music Director Brett Weymark. The acapella work is composed with 50 parts with the intention that the choirs be positioned around the famous Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. For this work 34 members of the Symphony Chorus are positioned at the southern end of the Concert Hall, underneath the organ. The 36 members of the Chamber Singers are split across the East and West sides of the hall whilst the 50 strong Capella St Crucis is split across the main stage and the northern end of the hall, to the rear of the audience. This work moves from ethereal ghostly voices that surround the audience to a sound that washes over the audience in waves as different groups dominate the sound. A delightfully immersive experience, this work shifts mood from deep and dark to brighter overtones with a complexity of the staggered sound from the 50 parts presented by the 120 singers that give the work a full sound.
Drawing on Capella St Crucis' specialization in works by Bach, the Magnificat in D major combines the visiting singers with the Chamber Singers, a 33 strong chamber orchestra sized Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra and soloists Sara Macliver, Anna Dowsley, Nicholas Tolputt, Nicholas Jones and David Greco, again under the direction of Brett Weymark. This work is more festive and regal, presenting a joyous celebration. The soloists present beautiful interpretations of the work as they each bring a uniqueness to their styles.
The largest work of the concert is the Mozart's Mass in C minor which combines the Capella St Crucis, chamber Singers, 114 strong Symphony Chorus, 41 strong Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra and Macliver, Dowsley, Jones and Greco. For this piece, Capella St Crucis' conductor Florian Lohmann leads whilst Weymark blends in to join the choir. As with the other two works, the Mass in C minor is appropriate for the holy period with it's sacred subject matter. It layers pomp and solemnity with delightful flourishes and bold choir in a multi part work that shifts through different moods. Whilst the soloists each deliver lovely additions to the work, special note goes to Dowsley's delightfully playful and expressive presentations where her background as an acclaimed opera singer, known for her acting ability as well has her beautiful voice, is wonderfully evident.
Whilst this was a one off performance Sydney Philharmonia Choirs seem to have a regular Easter concert so it is worth planning ahead so you don't miss their 2020 concert.