Consort rises to a global challenge

Elizabeth Bouman
Elizabeth Bouman
Southern Consort of Voices 
St Joseph’s Chapel
Sunday, Sept 9

Reviewed by Elizabeth Bouman

Southern Consort of Voices (directed by Daniel Kelly) entertained a capacity audience on Sunday afternoon in St Joseph’s Chapel, acoustically such an ideal venue for this a capella mixed voice choir of 17 voices, writes Elizabeth Bouman.

The themed programme entitled ‘‘Continental Drift’’ covered folk and traditional songs from many parts of the world, with the added difficulty of singing in several foreign languages.  The Consort rose to the challenge, delivering an excellent recital.

Beginning with the Americas, Kelly set the standard of performance high, mixing a strong tight blend for Afro-American The Lily of the Valley, an interesting arrangement (Hogan) of Abide With Me, Shenandoah a Canadian song and a contrasting Argentinian number Villancico de la Falta de Fe.

Contributions from Europe and Russia required Hungarian text for Nagykaracsony ejszakajan based on traditional Christmas melodies and included Now Ye Heavenly Powers, a richly harmonic tenor/baritone number with ancient Slavonic church text.  British songs included Holst’s arrangement of I Love my Love and an impressive eight-part version of Danny Boy. E Galili, Gabi Gabi  and Wana Baraka  traditional South African numbers revved up the pace and rhythmic energy, with accompanying bongos leaving no doubt about the country of origin.

Guest soloist Anna Bowen with Mike Moroney (guitar) sang two Dutch folk-songs, and the programme finished ‘‘in New Zealand’’ with the popular waiata Ka Waiata ki a Maria  (Richard Punaki), featuring excellent solo work from Clare Adams. 

 

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