‘Light’ themed per­for­mance shone

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - KAREN CARTER

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.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Guy Don­ald­son con­ducts the Re­nais­sance Singers.

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