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TEM well received at the 61st Tilford Bach Festival in Surrey, England

photo of TEM choir & soloists 61st Tilford Bach Festival

Sunday, 26th May, 2013
All Saintsí Church
Tilford, Surrey, England

The London Handel Orchestra
Conductor Adrian Butterfield

Choir of the Theatre of Early Music

J.S. Bach Cantatas for Trinity Sunday:

Cantata BWV 165 O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad
Cantata BWV 129 Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott
and
Magnificat in D major BWV 243

The final concert of each festival has traditionally been choral works by JS Bach and this year was no exception.

This yearís programme started quietly with the cantata BWV165 O heilges Geist - und Wasserbad (O holy font of Spirit and Water), a cantata for Trinity Sunday, being performed on that day. The London Handel Orchestra, under the direction of TBS Musical Director Adrian Butterfield, together with the choir and soloists from the Choir of the Theatre of Early Music (visiting from Toronto), delivered a warmly appreciated rendition of this piece.

The second piece was also a cantata for Trinity Sunday, written in 1726, one year later than the previous work and using a larger orchestra and larger chorus. The audience had its first taste of percussion and brass with the arrival of three natural trumpets.

Bachís selective use of trumpets greatly enhances their impact when they are deployed and, at this concert, the effect was very stimulating during the remainder of the concert.

The second cantata, BWV 165 Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott (Praise be the Lord, my God) was a more powerful piece and introduced the audience to more of the soloists from Toronto whose interpretation and delivery was excellent throughout. The interval allowed the audience to enjoy their drinks outside in sunny weather with a growing feeling of expectancy for a second half that promised much.

Bachís Magnificat BWV 243 is demanding and extremely well known to TBS regulars. As the full visiting choir entered the small church, the audience tensed in anticipation of hearing one of their favourite works performed by a relatively unknown assembly of musicians led by their new(ish) Musical Director, Adrian Butterfield.

There was no disappointment. The singers and orchestra delivered an excellent performance that shook the foundations of the small village church. There was good attack in the choruses and excellent solo singing.

The final chorus Gloria Patri was everything the audience were then hoping for with, once again, superb trumpets that didnít falter with all performers stretched to their limits. Adrian Butterfield has now delivered two excellent festivals for local music lovers.

Ian Sargeant

 

Concert Review:
Handel’s Anthems beautifully handled by skilled musicians
By Richard Todd, The Ottawa Citizen, December 10, 2012

Handel’s Coronation Anthems
Theatre of Early Music and Schola Cantorum
Daniel Taylor, conductor
Knox Presbyterian Church - Saturday December 8th

Handel’s four Coronation Anthems are not in any sense Christmas music, but they sound so celebratory that with different words they might pass readily as music of the season. They were the backbone of a concert given Saturday evening at Knox Presbyterian Church by Daniel Taylor’s Theatre of Early Music and a choir made up mainly of members of Toronto’s Schola Cantorum.

The all-Handel program began with the Overture to the Water Music played conductorless by the TEM’s superb baroque orchestra. The quality of the playing and idiomatic styling were to be the rule for the entire program. Although itís unfair to everyone else, in a way, the beautiful oboe playing of Matthew Jennejohn and Geoffrey Burgess needs to be singled out.

The first of the Anthems was perhaps the most familiar, Zadok the Priest. After several measures of orchestral introduction, the chorus came in with a most impressive double-forte, especially remarkable for an ensemble of 25 voices. The singing that followed was uniformly excellent, boasting all of the core technical values including balance, blend, precision and intonation.

Next came How beautiful are the feet of them who preach the Gospel of peace from Messiah, nicely sung by soprano Agnes Zsigovics. Zsigovics is familiar to most followers of vocal music in these parts, and her rendition on Saturday did not disappoint.

Then there was the anthem The King Shall Rejoice sung by the chorus. Once again the performance was entirely apt and beautiful.

The second half of the program began with tenor Michiel Schrey singing an aria from Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt, The Enemy Said. Like Zsigovics, Schrey has sung here frequently and hasnít even begun to wear out his welcome.

In fact, if you want a hint as to why the chorus was so good, you have only to look at its roster, which includes not only the likes of Schrey and Zsigovics, but also bass-baritone Alexander Dobson, whose rendition of The Trumpet Shall Sound was one of the evening’s highlights. His singing wasn’t all that made it special though, the fellow who sounded the baroque trumpet, Alexis Basque, was superb as well.

The final anthem, My Heart is Inditing, was the most elaborate of the four. In the first place it has four movements, making it the longest of them. Also, it is the only one to employ chorus and soloists. It integrates them well and made for an especially pleasing conclusion to the concert.

 

Theatre of Early Music - Latest Release

CD cover


Analekta
ANA 29841
November 2012

Ave Maria

1. Ave Maria Giulio Caccini (1551 - 1618)
Alain Lefèvre [Piano] and Daniel Taylor [Countertenor]

2. Ave Maria Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
Daniel Taylor, Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
Theatre of Early Music

3. Ave Verum William Byrd (1543 - 1623)
Theatre of Early Music Choir

4. Ave Maria Josquin Desprez (circa 1455 - 1521)
Theatre of Early Music Choir

5. Ave generosa Hildegard von Bingen (1098 - 1179)
Daniel Taylor [Countertenor] and Amanda Keesmaat (Cello)

6. Magnificat Claudio Monteverdi (1567 - 1643)
Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
Solo: André-Nicolas Chantal-Fortin

7. Ave Maria Jacques Arcadelt (1505 - 1568)
Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal

8. Ave Maria Anton Bruckner (1824 - 1896)
Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal

9. Magnificat Arvo Pärt (1935 - )
Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
Solo: Victor Guilhe la Combe de Villers

10. Ave Maria Charles Gounod (1818 - 1893)
Daniel Taylor, Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
Theatre of Early Music

Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, Gilbert Patenaude, Director
The Theatre of Early Music: Daniel Taylor, Director
Luc Beauséjour, Organ
Amanda Keesmaat, Cello
Alain Lefèvre, Piano

"In this latest release from Canadian label Analekta, Daniel performs a disc of "Ave Mariaís" written by Caccini, Schubert, Byrd, von Bingen, Monteverdi and others, so provides a definitive disc of this repertoire performed by a world class singer. "
MKT - UK

More information or to order on line in UK: MDT - UK


To listen to Ave Maria or to order a CD on line or download MP3 from Analekta please click here: Order Now

 

 

 

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