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  • Fiona Prior

Sublime ‘Heavenly Voices’ at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney

Sublime ‘Heavenly Voices’ at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney

Great works from the Renaissance and Baroque

Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612) Jubilate Deo

Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707) Magnificat BuxWV 203

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus Tragicus) BWV 106

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) Exsultate Deo

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Beatus vir SV 268

Johann Sebastian Bach Mass in A Major BWV 234

I wish I could talk ‘music’ as this sublime choir recital deserves a more experienced voice than mine to sing its praises. Presented in the perfect acoustical location of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, music and words joined with architecture and icons of transcendence to sweep away an appreciative audience.

The voice of soprano Sara Macliver was effortless and seemed to fill the cathedral as if carried on a wave.

I loved the fact that a little of the city’s hustle could be heard from the street outside. It seemed appropriate that this timeless beauty be gently impregnated with today.

The ‘heavenly voices’ of the Chamber Singers delivered a program spanning the late Renaissance to the late Baroque. Aria award-winning soprano, Sara Macliver, performed with Tobias Cole, Paul McMahon and Christopher Richardson accompanied by period instruments, the performance encased in the gothic-revival lines of St Mary’s Cathedral.

At the heart of the recital were two poignant and evocative works by JS Bach. The first, Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit is from early in Bach’s career. The second, the Mass in A major, was one of the rarely heard Lutheran masses which Bach composed in later career. This was followed by sacredl works from Gabrieli, Palestrina and Monteverdi.

Conductor: Brett Weymark

Soprano: Sara Macliver

Countertenor: Tobias Cole

Tenor: Paul McMahon

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