By Avril Steyl
AN OUTSTANDING concert of late Baroque music during the recent long weekend was sheer joy.
Led by Dr Georg Corall, an early music specialist, musician and conductor from Perth, the Denmark Baroque choir and orchestra attained a new level of musical expression.
Local instrumentalists and singers strive for historically informed performances, and the combined influence of Dr Corall and specialist music teacher, lecturer and mezzo soprano Vivien Hamilton was inspiring.
Their mentoring and teaching have taken Denmark Baroque to new heights in musical delivery and audience enjoyment.
The sound and very light direction of the choir were impressive, and demonstrated the practice put in to get the dynamics and blended sound to such an excellent level.
The main composition, Missa Solemnis in C by Johann Wanhal, was first performed about 1780.
Wanhal had more than 270 compositions printed in his lifetime, many of them sacred music.
A friend of Mozart’s, his works ably reflect the musical form that had developed by that time.
This Mass, which is a big work for choir and chamber orchestra, showed off the wonderful voices of the two soloists and of the choir.
Under the tutelage of local music teacher Louise McKenna and four days of intense work with Vivien, the strengths of the different voices in the choir were honed, and they became one voice – a wonderful sound.
Under Dr Corall’s direction and mentoring by leaders of each section, the orchestra developed a beautifully balanced sound which fully supported the choir, playing at the lower baroque pitch and featuring a range of contemporary instruments, including the natural horn.
Two other compositions completed the program, the first a piece by CPE Bach, The Dawn of Creation, featuring the two remarkable soloists and four choir members.
This exquisite composition was a joy to listen to.
From the deep resonance of the opening to the inclusion of the whole orchestra and choral sections, the audience was rapt.
The other piece, by William Boyce, included sections for recorder and baroque oboe.
Denmark Baroque is grateful for the financial support from Denmark Shire, Denmark Community Foundation and the Department of Culture and the Arts, for making the production possible.