02 April 2022

The divine French

I got the call to record, this time for Oriana Chorale, a lovely, moderately-sized  choir in Canberra, led by Dan Walker.  I'd been fascinated that Dan had just done a concert (vocals/synth accompanied by piano) of songs by Suzanne Vega, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, Philip Glass and David Byrne.  Now that did sound of serious interest.  Oriana weren't singing that style, but interesting noen-the-less.  They were presenting a truncated history of Chansons Francaises, divine French choral music.  It ran from Beatritz de Dia, a troubaritz (female troubadour) from days pre-polyphony.  Interesting. Then through Janequin and Passereau and Trad. and Rameau presenting with choral music that explored nature and more.  The Janequin Chant des oiseaux was all imitations of birds.  Then to more modern times, with trois chansons each from Debussy and Ravel and huit chansons, settings of troubadour/troubaritz melodies, from Poulenc and to C20th with Edith Piaf.  Quite a journey.  Some lovely explorations, capable leadership, nice intonation and expressiveness.   What a nice recording call!

Oriana Chorale (mixed choir) sang chansons Francaises under Dan Walker (director) at the chapel of Canberra Girls Grammar school.

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