Consort of Voices in perfect setting

A celebration of German-Romantic era repertoire was presented in St Joseph's Chapel yesterday afternoon by Southern Consort of Voices.

The recital attracted a large audience, and included a capella works by Brahms, Bruckner, Mendelssohn and others, in a venue which always seems so perfect for highlighting the beauty of sound in the Consort's music.

The 17-member group responded well to the direction of their conductor Daniel Kelly, producing an excellent balance of blended tone, due in part to a strong foundational resonance from five bass/baritone members.

The mostly non-secular programme opened with sacred works by Bruckner, Os Justi and Locus Iste, followed by two pieces from a set by Brahms - Sieben Lieder Op 62. Unexpected harmonic progressions and chromaticism with animated text came in a more dramatic piece by Georg Schumann (1866-1952), which ended quietly with Hear my cry, hear my plea, Oh Lord.

Six and eight part repertoire followed, including Abenlied and a rich setting of the Christmas message by Stefan Class (1968-). The choir divided for a powerful delivery of Kyrie and Heilig in a setting of mass for double choir by Mendelssohn.

Guest performers first-year university voice student Sarah Hubbard and accompanist Richard Warnock presented Schubert lieder - Fruhlingsglaube, Erlafsee and An die Musik, revealing the growing maturity of this young soprano voice, lovely even tone and confidence in intelligent delivery of the German text. A most enjoyable Sunday afternoon recital, followed by afternoon tea.

-By Elizabeth Bouman

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