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Concert: The Camerata Chamber Choir
Saturday 22nd November 2014. 19.30
In aid of Leukaemia/lymphoma Research
Ticket Information: £15.00 Tel: 01983 740609
The Camerata Chamber Choir are performing a challenging and very special concert on November 22nd at 19.30. The programme includes the Requiem by Gabriel Fauré and new Motets by the modern and very successful Karl Jenkins. The choir is now a tremendous national success with appearances in the Royal Albert Hall and other important venues and started their existence as a small group under the direction of Jurgita Leistrumaite.
The Camerata Chamber Choir
The 14-strong choir has been in existence for 19 months, and in that time they have developed a distinctive sound. At times, their general musicality and sympathetic phrasing was second-to-none. Admittedly, the concert opened with a somewhat unsure performance of Duruflé’s well-known motet Ubi Caritas, which did not bode especially well for the remaining pieces, but once on the rather more familiar territory of Bob Chilcott’s choral works, the performers relaxed and began to produce some excellent sounds.
The slight numerical imbalance between the ladies and gentlemen was occasionally evident, particularly in the enormously complex O Salutaris Hostia by Vytautus Miskinis (a quick peek at the score during the interval revealed many split parts, a tall order with only three gentlemen on each part, and textural writing as dense as it was!), but director Jurgita Hayward guided the ensemble through difficult passages with some of the most elegant, precise and effective conducting an amateur ensemble is ever likely to be lucky enough to receive; perhaps something the lower parts may like to bear in mind, as it felt a lack of watching very occasionally deprived good performances of the polish required to make them excellent.
The second half was exclusively music by the Welsh (and living) composer Karl Jenkins. His Mass for Peace — The Armed Man formed the centrepiece of the entire Global Sing for Peace initiative, and the movements from it were well sung, the gentlemen particularly demonstrating their innate musicality and potential. From his 'Stabat Mater’ came three movements, excellent examples of Jenkins at his best, and worst. The excellent 'Now My Life is Only Weeping’ was truly moving – the alto soloist captivating the audience with her chocolaty tone and genuinely pained musical expression. Conversely, Hayward did her best to rescue the truly dreadful 'classical chillout’ favourite 'And the Mother did Weep’ from its fate as an instantly forgettable six minute indulgence, but, alas, failed – this was, crucially, the music’s fault, not the choir’s. The final two pieces – 'Ave Verum’ and the 'Pie Jesu’ from Jenkins’ 'Requiem’ were excellently performed, and rounded off what was an enormously enjoyable concert. This choir shows a huge amount of potential, and under the inspired leadership of Jurgita Hayward, there is little doubt that they will achieve it; if they exploit their distinctive sound and specialise in contemporary choral music, the Island will have an ensemble to get excited about.
Source: Isle of Wight County Press - September 23, 2011 by Edward Moore