‘Light’ themed performance shone
Inspiring and uplifting, this was a concert that spanned musical ages and the globe.
From the Renaissance to contemporary - with composers from Europe and America to Palmerston North, the Renaissance Singers, a chamber orchestra, a tenor soloist, and an accompanist skilfully combined in an entertaining programme.
It included oratorio, opera, folk song, carols, spirituals, Christian
song, musicals, and soft rock.
The choir proved adept at moving from one style to the next while maintaining the integrity of the music and a warm tone.
The chamber orchestra in the first half, under the leadership of Allan Rae, added authenticity to a number of the earlier works.
Nigel Tongs’ tenor solos were beautifully phrased and balanced while Jonathan Berkahn provided strong support from the piano.
The more modern songs, including Shine a Little Light, Lux Aurumque and Keep your Lamps! were characterised by high energy levels, accuracy, control and confidence, creating a feel of elation.
The male chorus singing of Beethoven’s Prisoner’s Chorus from Fidelio did sound a little muffled, but the bracket of songs performed by the female chorus was finely crafted.
That included Irish Blessing by Kirsten Clark, one of five local composers represented in the concert.
Come Home Again by Tim Devlin, had lovely harmonies and movement, and there was a colourful Light to the Eye by choir patron and original conductor, Graham Parsons.
Former choir member Julian Gairdner, contributed the expansive A Child That Sleeps This Night, and Helen Caskie’s Merrily to Bethlehem was given a joyful and lively rendition.
Guy Donaldson conducts the Renaissance Singers.