8 February 2018
The first and final concerts are the biggies and this final concert was no let-down. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber Missa Salisburgensis with a few other pieces by him, a Dixit Dominus, a sonata and Plaudite tympana. But how big and impressive are these works! The Missa is scored for 53 in 5 choirs (2 vocal and 3 instrumental), two “loci”comprising trumpets, timpani and sackbuts and two continui comprising organs, cellos and one double bass. All period instruments. The Pauldite also for 53, the Dixit for 32 and the sonata for a mere 6. This was all busy fugal writing for voices and strings, ecstatic brass and timpani. Loud enough to fill this large cathedral (which will dwarf most music) so we could sit back and relish the indulgence. You do wonder how much can be written around a few words (just the Kyrie went on for ages, I think with several movements) and how often Amen will repeat and how blaringly elated one piece can be. This was so. The concert drew in the locals, as the turn-out was big, filling the Cathedral. There was some lesser voices (not surprising given the fugal solo lines passed through the choirs) and some other slips, but this was a mammoth effort and a huge success. Congratulations to a large and varied group for pulling off an ecstatic concert. Loved it as did all the rest. A fine end to this modest but intriguing festival.
Performers were: Choir 1 (Newman College Choir, UMelb, SSAATTBB) Gary Ekkel (director), Hannah Irvine, Ruby Ekkel, Charlotte Crowley Katherine Lieschke, Clementine Isaacson, Ian Travers, Amelia Ekkel, Stefanie Dingnis, Hana Fraser, Christopher Roache, Paul O’Shea, Riley Soares, Matthew Bennett, Eamon Dooley, Lane Hyde, Jack Fang, Jack Bennett, Liam Headland, Tom Attard, Ben Russell; Choir 2 David Irving, Shane Lestideau (violins), Reidun Turner, Dylan Quinlan-Biskett, Rachel Walker, Miriam Morris (viols); Choir 3 Ruth Wilkinson, Ryan Williams, Hannah Coleman, Alexandra Bailliet-Joly (recorders), Kirsten Barry, Andrew Angus (oboes), Tristram Williams, David Musk (trumpets), Matthew Manchester, Peter Reid (cornetti), Julian Bain, John Gluyas, Glen Bardwell (sackbuts); Choir 4 (Queens College Choir, UMelb, SSAATTBB) John Weretka (director) Helen Thomson, Katherine Norman, April Foster, Jennifer Spiegel, Piri Jakab, Neera Kadkol, Brede Davis, Niki Ebacioni, Anish Nair, Stewart Webb, Robin Czuchnowski, Ben OwenJoshua Erdelyi-Gotz, Steven Hodgson, Kieran Macfarlane, James Emerson; Choir 5 Cathy Shugg, Simone Slattery (violins), Victoria Watts, Evlambia Vafiadis, John Weretka, Laura Vaugha (viols); Loco 1 Joel Brennan, Adrian Meyer, Louisa Becker (trumpets), Christopher Farrands (sackbut), Robert Allan (timpani); Loco 2 Louisa Trewartha, Hannah Rundell, Giulian Favrin (trumpets), Don Immel (sackbut), Arwen Johnston (timpani); Continuo 1 David Macfarlane (organ), Paul Zabrowarny (cello); Continuo 2 Ann Morgan (organ), Fiona Piggott (cello), Robert Nicholls (bass) Biber,