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Refreshingly Different

Ottawa's Stairwell Carollers -
heard by
KEITH BRAMICH

'... very clean ensemble singing.'

O Magnum Mysterium. © 2015 Stairwell Carollers

As useless as the so-called micro-blogging site Twitter can sometimes appear to be, I do cherish it for the occasional pithy 'fortune cookie' style quote, such as this recent gem: 'If there's a podium involved, it's not a "conversation"', something which the late British choral director and teacher Simon Johnson took to heart, dreaming of a future in which musical directors no longer stood in front of their choirs gesticulating, and arranging for his students to experience standing in a circle, each in physical contact with his or her neighbour, sharing the musical pulse in a tactile fashion whilst singing. This dream of the future appears to be here now, in the guise of Ottawa's Stairwell Carollers, where musical director Pierre Massie works from the tenor section of his thirty voice choir, producing, by and large, clean ensemble singing. The carollers' normal repertoire is sacred and secular Renaissance songs, but at Christmas-time they turn their attention to the Christmas carols of many different countries, and have recorded five Christmas CDs, of which O magnum mysterium is the latest. It takes its name from Massie's composition, recorded here, which breaks with composers' usual practice of setting these thirteenth century words in a quiet, ethereal manner throughout, to end loudly and joyfully...

Copyright © 17 December 2015 Keith Bramich,
Wiltshire UK

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O MAGNUM MYSTERIUM - STAIRWELL CAROLLERS

CANADA

CHRISTMAS

JOHN TAVENER

DAVID WILLCOCKS

JOHN RUTTER

ARTHUR SULLIVAN

CHORAL MUSIC

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