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Verdi Requiem – Deon Irish

Concert heralds choirs” turn-around

CHORAL CONCERT, Thursday October 7, City Hall; Verdi: Messa da Requiem; soloists Hanli Stapela, Elizabeth Frandsen, Matthew Overmeyer, Monde Masimini; Philharmonia Choir, Symphony Choir and CPO conducted by Victor Yampolsky.

DEON IRISH reviews

SOME of the most exciting concerts I attended at the City Hall in the 1970s and 1980s were choral: vivid presentations by both the CTSO”s Symphony Choir and the Philhar­monia choir, each having well over a 100 singers. They included memo­rable performances of works as diverse as Dvorak”s Requiem, Orff”s Carmina Burana and Britten”s War Requiem. And, of course, the CTSO”s final concert before its mid-year break, traditionally concluding with the Beethoven Choral Symphony.

Both choirs fell on difficult times in the past decade, so it is very grat­ifying to record an increasingly apparent turn-around in their for­tunes and some headway made on what we must hope will be a return to former glories. Continue reading

Verdi Requiem – Carl Fourie

I thoroughly ? enjoyed Thursday evening??™s performance of Verdi??™s Requiem. Combining the two choirs was a good idea, not just because of its obvious dramatic import, but it was actually vital in passages like Dies Irae, with its descending inner voices. Each choir on its own would not have enough of especially tenors.

? A powerful vocal contrast was set up between the dulcet ? opening Requiem Aeternam, and the thundering Dies Irae: well done!

? The counterpoint in Sanctus was effective, with entries clearly accented. However, the opening two entries felt as if they were pulling against the time, and not quite in step with the orchestra.

? The a capella sections in the final Libera Me were very beautiful, and exhibited a beautiful balance between the various choral voices. . It was obvious that the choirs were aware of the resulting harmonies, as their voices blended naturally and plaintively. Continue reading