Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sydney Monteverdi concert reviewed by the Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald has a very favourable review of the Monterverdi 1610 Vespers performed last Thursday at St Mary's Cathedral by the combined choirs of the Cathedral and St James King Street, accompanied by Australian Baroque Brass playing on authentic instruments.

The article neglects expressly to mention that Monteverdi's composition was augmented by the proper chant antiphons, sung with great aplomb by the Scholars of the Cathedral.

The SMH, which is fast gaining a similar reputation to The Guardian in the matter of spelling (or rather misspelling), informs us that:
"The Hymn Ave maris stella started with celestial choral sounds from behind the alter [sic], bringing in brass from the left, strings from the right, a boys choir from the organ loft, golden-toned recorders from the pulpit and a delicate group of guitars and long-necked Chitarrone from behind, to create simple delight in the joining of space and sound."
I have written to the editor to have this corrected.  I have done this several times in the past and to their credit they have always effected the suggested changes very promptly.  My favourite editorial mishap (possibly induced by 'spell check') was when the paper earnestly reported that (now Saint) Mary Mackillop had been beautified!

Protester 1:  I mean, the badgers have dwelt there for generations.
Minister:  Ah well now, can you be sure of that?
Protester 2:  It said so in The Guardian!
[Protester 2 hands the Minister a copy of the said newspaper]
Minister: Oh, right … actually what it says here is that the ‘bodgers’ have ‘dealt’ there for generations!
A few years ago Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducted an excellent performance of the work at the Proms.  The Monteverdi Choir was joined by the London Oratory Junior Choir (see also below) and the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School Schola Cantorum:

Of course, many years ago he famously conducted the 1610 Vespers at the Basilica di San Marco (the London Oratory Junior Choir was involved in the performance):

The New College Choir, Oxford, has also recently recorded the work for CD: