A theatrical experience
Spirituals and gospel music sung by Chanticleer -
'... enjoyable it is ...'
If you listen to some of the tracks on Chanticleer's disc How sweet the sound: Spirituals and Traditional Gospel Music, you would be hard put to realise that the Chanticleer is in fact an all male group, with counter-tenors on the upper two voice lines
[listen -- track 2, 0:00-0:55].
The group was founded in 1978 and currently consists of twelve singers. They make a smooth, well modulated sound and the counter-tenor's warmth of voice and use of vibrato is a world away from the English Cathedral sound, the difference between the voices, say, of David Daniels and James Bowman. Chanticleer's upper voices cultivate a sound which is sophisticated but which has a far greater feminine element than would be prevalent with traditionally English trained counter-tenors.
Copyright © 4 December 2005
Robert Hugill, London UK