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Category: Chorus

HARBISON MORE AT HOME IN CHURCH THAN OPERA

HARBISON MORE AT HOME IN CHURCH THAN OPERA

BERKELEY—In a choral program of psalms, a varied and engaging world premiere by the neoclassical composer John Harbison, 78, took center stage in the current round of concerts by the male chorus Chanticleer. Harbison is fascinating, an East Coast composer who has written in all the genres with eagerness and inventiveness. What has always struck me is the emotion of the individual with the Almighty in his sacred works, as here, is much more effective than the emotion between humans…

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THE ‘QUARTER-STAGED’ ADAMS ORATORIO

THE ‘QUARTER-STAGED’ ADAMS ORATORIO

Those patrons streaming out at intermission missed the best part of John Adams’ massive and ambitious oratorio “The Gospel According to the Other Mary.” As in his earlier oratorio “El Niño,” this magnum opus links biblical narrative with modern-day people and issues via flashback and flashforward. Modern immigration, farm-workers’ rights and women’s activism enter into the scriptural accounts of Lazarus and Jesus, via the adroit texts compiled by librettist Peter Sellars, a frequent Adams collaborator. If this succès d’estime was…

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THE SPIRIT SINGS AT CHANTICLEER

THE SPIRIT SINGS AT CHANTICLEER

Nothing charges up your Christmas spirit more successfully than Chanticleer’s Christmas concerts. Heard it before? No matter. Most of the sacred repertory is new annually, spanning a millennium or more. Text languages? Nothing special—just eight of ’em a night this year. Revolutionary 16th-century composers helped save the day for us, more than once. This time one motet featured the Englishman William Byrd, who adroitly continued writing sacred music and—-somehow——avoiding execution in the bloody Reformation battles going on outside his door….

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CHANTICLEER FALLS IN LOVE

CHANTICLEER FALLS IN LOVE

Elite Men’s Chorus Dazzles in ‘Secret Heart’ Program By D. Rane Danubian artssf.com, the independent observer of San Francisco Bay Area music and dance  Week of Sept. 19-26,  2016 Vol. 19, No. 3 SANTA CLARA—The virtuoso singers of Chanticleer were ardently declaring their love for all parties concerned. Their “Secret Heart” program from many sources, languages and centuries will whisk them around Northern California with that heart-to-heart musical message. The 12 are as versatile as ever, performing classical men’s chorus…

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CHORUSES BRANCHING OUT

CHORUSES BRANCHING OUT

You Can Sing—But Can You Also Dance, Act??  By Paul Hertelendy  artssf.com, the independent observer of San Francisco Bay Area music and dance  Week of May 16, 2016 Vol. 18, No. 70 BERKELEY—When does a youth chorus begin to meld with the concept of a dance troupe? The new reality for choruses is not only singing, but also moving about the stage theatrically—not too far from dance choreography. There are six works on the current program of the Volti chorus,…

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AN UNKNOWN REPERTORY OF SACRED MUSIC

AN UNKNOWN REPERTORY OF SACRED MUSIC

Chanticleeer Seeks and Sings Classics of South America By Paul Hertelendy artssf.com, the independent observer of San Francisco Bay Area music and dance Week of May 8-15, 2016 Vol. 18, No. 68 It’s time for true believers to drop down on their knees and thank the Almighty for the sacred music circulated by the chorus Chanticleer. Who can match their mining the Mother Lodes of early music that was created unnoticed, unheralded in the New World? And in our era,…

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RUSSIAN VOICES, FROM CELESTIAL TO DESPONDENT

RUSSIAN VOICES, FROM CELESTIAL TO DESPONDENT

An Uncommon, Unaccompanied Chorus Give credit to the Swede Ragnar Bohlin, who moonlights leading his Cappella SF when he’s not leading the prize-winning S.F. Symphony Chorus. What’s more, with Cappella he resurrects choral rarities rarely encountered elsewhere. It’s a gourmet paradise in voice. This time it was a spectrum of unaccompanied pieces we rarely hear outside the Russian Orthodox Church. And he appended the dark perspectives of modern-day composers who were rankling under the repression and bleakness of Soviet Communism….

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CHANTICLEER PERENNIALS FOR CHRISTMAS

CHANTICLEER PERENNIALS FOR CHRISTMAS

Spotlighting Brilliance of a One-Time Wonder By Paul Hertelendy artssf.com, the independent observer of San Francisco Bay Area music and dance Week of Dec. 12-23, 2015 Vol. 18, No. 33 STANFORD, CA—Heaping wreaths and encomiums on the elite Chanticleer chorus’ Christmas program for the 37th time? No—pointless and repetitive. Let’s learn instead from the once-in-a-lifetime burst of genius coming to ordinary folk like you or your neighbor——folks such as Franz Biebl, who wrote the beloved signature piece “Ave Maria” and…

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BIGGER-THAN-LIFE ORATORIO, ABOUT ALL HUMANITY

BIGGER-THAN-LIFE ORATORIO, ABOUT ALL HUMANITY

Garrop’s Eloquent World Premiere Given by Local Chorus The choral-orchestral “Terra Nostra” given its world premiere here Nov. 14 is a colossal effort, the largest-scale oratorio introduced in these parts in decades. The eloquent work running some 80 minutes is a secular one in three parts, from the world’s early beginnings and the dawn of humanity. Had composer Stacy Garrop been content with the first two parts and stopped, I might have been jumping off bridges, given the ending lament…

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CHANTICLEER IN MUSIC (VERY) OLD, (VERY) NEW

CHANTICLEER IN MUSIC (VERY) OLD, (VERY) NEW

BERKELEY—With Chanticleer there’s a musical magic that sweeps you, right along with the perfection of harmonies and tuning. The all-male local chorus of 12, unaccompanied throughout, remains a paragon to compare with the elite European groups. Having in the mix that rarest of all species, male sopranos, enables Chanticleer’s performing a much wider repertoire, including mixed choruses, or choirs of men and boys. “Singing in Chanticleer is basically a young man’s game,” explains the new Music Director William Fred Scott,…

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