In performance: New Dominion Chorale
New Dominion gives dominant performance
by Alfred Thigpen
In a season of mixed choral performances, Thomas Beveridge's New Dominion Chorale has pulled off a coup. This unauditioned, soprano-heavy volunteer choir took on two prodigious works Sunday, drawing a standing ovation from the audience at Schlesinger Concert Hall in Alexandria.
(read more after the jump)
The chorale's leadoff work, Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms," fairly danced. The only down side was the unavoidable proximity of orchestra to audience, which washed out consonants (the piece is sung in Hebrew). One of many up sides, however, was countertenor Chris Dudley. His straight-tone voice, with an effortless if not otherworldly patina, could have filled two auditoriums.
Beveridge is something of a rarity: a composer who actually understands what to do with his own music. His "Symphony of Peace" is drawn almost entirely from the Jewish Torah service. This is a massive work about beating swords into plowshares and the constancy of a loving God whose stated desire for peace cannot be withdrawn.
For the "Voice of God," Beveridge employed a fluegelhorn played with virtuosic authority from the balcony by Terry Bingham. Interwoven throughout the composition, this instrument contrasts markedly with the colorful use of orchestra, percussion, saxophone and even bass guitar. Beveridge's clarity of beat and cues were essential to soloists and made possible a fully unified and confident choral product.
-- Alfred Thigpen
Posted by: mondocondo | May 18, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse
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