A Choral Delight
Chamber Ensemble -
'... most valuable.'
The Antioch Chamber Ensemble is a choir of twelve voices now celebrating its thirteenth successful season with a wide repertoire that does not fail the contemporary composer. Directed from within the group by bass Joshua Copeland, these New Yorkers travel widely, and the recordings here reviewed were made over two summers (2008 and 2009) in St Philip's Church, Charleston, South Carolina as their contribution to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. They are there now as I write, with yet more programmes of new choral works, and although they are no strangers to the Renaissance and early classical repertoires, it is their enthusiasm for the choral music of recent years that is impressive, for the service they do for living composers, whether well established or emerging, is most valuable.
Jonathan Dove's substantial cycle The Passing of the Year, written in 2000, is designed to follow the season through from Blake looking forward to summer to Tennyson's winter thoughts on New Year's Eve -- a superb idea and a choral delight, built over a series of appealing ostinato style piano accompaniments. There are seven songs using poems by Blake, Emily Dickinson, George Peele, Thomas Nashe, and a stirring superbly structured finale in Tennyson's Ring out, wild bells...
Copyright © 21 June 2011