20 December 2014
Carols are for Christmas
This was just a quickie for Coro; a concert at Christmas with one rehearsal. But these guys are good. They sang in the Grand Stairwell at Hotel Hotel. All cool and woody and earthy. Hip. But both Coro and this hotel have depth and quality. They started with a favourite, Ding dong merrily on high which is a classic Christmas carol and one of my favourites for that endlessly falling chorus, Gloria ... Hosanna in excelsis. Then a few more obscure pieces and a few better known ones: Poulenc's Videntes Stellam, Byrd's Lullaby my sweet little baby, Orff, Charles Ives, Silent night, finally Irving Berlin's White Christmas. There were just two singers per part, so 8 performers; just 7 while a bass had to go off to collect his wife (Christmas is a busy time, after all; this was Saturday; perhaps she was shopping). But 8 singers made the parts clear. I particularly noticed some very high but easy tenor lines. And those sopranos that always ring in the heavens. And the more complex harmonies sung by the altos and the basses that undergird all this. It was somewhat of a throwaway concert, but these are quality singers so any performance is worthy. Just carols at Christmas, but I left blissed out. Capable voices, diverse repertoire, unique environment, relaxed atmosphere: a winner all round.
Coro sang carols at the Grand Staircase at Hotel Hotel in New Acton. Just eight singers this day: Hannah Bleby, Gemma Dashwood (sopranos), Rebecca Alexander, Maartje Sevenster (altos), Paul Eldon, Ian Mills (tenors), Adam Coin, Daniel Sanderson (basses).