Bach in the Castle of Heaven

Australian Chamber ChoirFollowing their recent sell out Melbourne performance of Bach in the Castle of Heaven, the sublime voices of the highly acclaimed Australian Chamber Choir will resonate throughout Bowral, Sydney, Macedon and Geelong this August.

Australian Chamber Choir Director Douglas Lawrence OAM, renowned for his highly-engaging programs, has taken as a starting point a comment made by John Eliot Gardiner in Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven: “Who needs pills to lift the spirits when we have the six Motets of Johann Sebastian Bach?”

Lawrence contrasts three of JS Bach’s masterpieces with a gem from Bach’s father-in-law, Johann Michael Bach highlighting the talents of the Choir’s six sopranos, four altos, four tenors and four basses. Gregorio Allegri’s celebrated Miserere, which the Choir has performed to enraptured European and Australian audiences, sits alongside one of the most profound works in the motet repertoire, Messiaen’s O sacrum convivium.

Fresh from his role as Ubaldo in Haydn’s Armida with Pinchgut opera in Sydney, Jacob Lawrence will be singing with the choir for this series before he departs Australia to undertake vocal studies at the Schola Cantorum in Basel. Ellie Walker and Ria Pollo, also choir members, will accompany two of the Bach Motets on cello and organ.

The program also features Three Latin Motets by Herbert Howells, representing a pinnacle of early 20th century English choral music. Internationally renowned harpsichordist Elizabeth Anderson also sings with the choir.

Audiences will experience the vocal dexterity of the 18-member choir, which has undertaken five European concert tours, given numerous Australian concerts and released four CDs. Their most recent release is Live in Europe 2015, which was recorded in Geneva.

Since its beginning nine years ago, the Australian Chamber Choir has given 168 concerts across Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, regional Victoria and NSW, Germany, France, Denmark, Switzerland and Poland. Acclaimed in six countries by audiences and critics alike, the choir has attracted glowing reviews and return invitations that are testament to this Choir’s international standing:

“… flawless intonation, impeccable blend, marvellously pure intervals, seamless contrapuntal vocal movement and their careful emphasis on text delivered “…an exceptional concert” – Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian Chamber Choir will present Bach in the Castle of Heaven at St. Jude’s, Bowral (Saturday 20 August – 3.30pm); St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney (Sunday 21 August – 2.30pm); Church of the Resurrection, Macedon (Saturday 27 August – 3.00pm); and St Mary’s Basilica, Geelong (Sunday 28 August – 3.00pm). For more information and bookings, visit: www.auschoir.org for details.

Image: Australian Chamber Choir (supplied)

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