18 March 2013

From the mouths of youth

David Yardley is going overseas for work so this is the last time he’s conducting Kompactus Choir for a while. Kompactus were performing at the High Court for the C100 Musical Offering. They are a youth choir formed out of the Canberra Youth Music Chamber Choir and SCUNA in 2008/9 when they enlisted David Yardley as musical director. This concert was called Best of Kompactus and covered a range of musics from Monteverdi through Vaughan Williams to recent Canberra visitors, the Finnish choir, Rajaton. They sang quietly, sometime almost lost behind the airconditioning, but their dynamics were generous and they’d then swell to a nice firm volume, although never very loud. I lost the male voices a little, being outnumbered at 5 to 7 females, but the interplay was clean and the harmonies were accurate and there were some lovely lines of polyphony that moved between parts, and some lovely voices htat worled together with admirable care and sense of unity. Perhaps some high notes were strained, but this was neat and capable and satisfying. They sang a varied program of quite short songs, starting back around 1450s, then through Linden Lea by Vaughan Williams that reminisces on English countryside and mourns the coming of the industrialisation. Then Monteverdi, a spiritual, Lauridsen’s C20th take on O magnum mysteriosum and a David Yardley arrangement of a song from C15th. Then a lamentation and Abide by me, and oddly, a song of daffodils, flowers that growing beautiful, flourish and die as a metaphor for life, and a song of a butterfly, sandwiching another Monteverdi, Crudel perche me fuggi. This was a lovely concert of delicacy and contemplation and I look forward to another.

Kompactus was directed by David Yardley with Rachel Cowley, Briana Hillman, Freya Howarth, Hannah Richardson and Veronica Milroy (sopranos), Alexandra Morris, Elizabeth Morris, Katy Pullen and Olivia Smith (altos), Cody Christopher, Michael Gill and Thomas Liu (tenors) and Christopher Bentley, Robin Dalton, Cameron Gill, Israel Marsh and Richard Pywell (basses).

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