White Nights, Glasgow Chamber Choir, Review
There are parts of northern Europe where the sun never sets in mid-summer and these are called White Nights. This was the title for Glasgow Chamber Choir’s delightful concert of choral music from around the Baltic Sea. Indeed the Choir had been singing in Sweden just a week earlier.
It is easy to think of Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) in terms of organ music, and Michael Bawtree played perhaps his most well known Prelude, fugue and chaconne during one of the resting periods for the Choir.
But the concert had begun with two parts of Buxtehude’s Missa Brevis sung in Latin. We heard Carl Nielson’s Dominus regit me, Arvo Pärt’s moving Magnificat written in 1989, and Pawel Lukaszewski’s O Oriens, a Magnificat antiphon for one of the final days of Advent written in 1997, all in Latin. After the interval more Latin with Peter Vasks’s Pater noster, a cheerful Lord’s Prayer, Pawel Lukaszewski’s O sapienta, O Wisdom, written in 1998 and the most recently composed O sacrum convivium, written in 2000 by Vytautas Miskinis.
The Four Shakespeare Songs, written in 1984 by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi were sung in English and great fun - particularly Double, double toil and trouble from Macbeth with a foot stamp at the end. In Danish we heard the warm and comforting Tre Körvisor texts by Wilhelm Stenhammer, a Swedish composer.
Michael Bawtree was at the organ for another breathing space with Carl Nielson’s Five short preludes for organ, opus 51, each a minute or so and all very different. He knows how to produce from concept to final production a quite fascinating and extraordinarily well sung choral concert - with two dozen clearly enthusiastic and talented singers dressed in a range of plain coloured tops and shirts which were so fitting for a summer’s afternoon.
Event: Sunday 10 June 2012 at 3pm