Wednesday, December 2, 2015

PsalmiDeo Chorale's 'Cantate!' - 30 Nov 2015

PsalmiDeo Chorale's 2015 offering is a hallmark of sorts. Their 13th concert full-length concert is described by the first of the evening's many emcees as the choir entering its 'teenage year', a growing up of sorts that saw their debut at the Esplanade Recital Studio among many firsts. Standing in mixed formation and performing their 2 hour programme entirely from memory, the collective group of singers along with their conductor Eric Santos were well-prepared and ready to impress.

Programme-wise, contemporary religious works provide a challenge to test the ensemble's maturity. Works by Josu Elberdin, Ola Gjeilo, John August Pamintuan and a secular work of sound effects by Eric Whitacre (The Seal Lullaby). Standouts in this segment are Morten Lauridsen's setting of O Magnum Mysterium, with beautifully floated pianissimo singing by the choir, followed by a collective rousing belt in Charles Villiers Stanford's Beati Quorum Via. Indeed, Lauridsen's version of renaissance sacred music remains my stuck in my mind days after the concert, especially the hushed yet floated voices in the final chord.

Balancing the evening's presentation are choral arrangements of pop and folk songs from Singapore and the Philippines. Pianist Danny Imson was a generous accompanist to the proceedings. Violinist Cho Myung-Sik gave the evening much colour with his romantic playing in You Raise Me Up. A handful of vocal soloists (John Rae Cortes, Joan Baes, Pearl and Divine) showcased the ensembles strong individual voices supported by their fellow singers behind.

All in all, the choir came ready to impress and impress they did. It was a very successful evening of music making, ending with a standing ovation. Bravo Psalmideo, can't wait to see what you guys have in store next year! 

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