17 December 2023


Five concerts in the Christmas series and we got to two.  This was a much smaller concert than the first but what was lost in complexity was gained from the familiarity of the performers and the clarity of the performance.  This was just the core 6 singers who make up Luminescence and who presumably, frequently, sing and practice together.  We could hear that heightened awareness between performers.   We could hear each individual voice, given just 6 singers together in great clarity and the space did its bit too, with its gentle presence.  So the sometimes raucous songs of Spain's golden era and Alfonso's cantigas was a dream.  Despite foot stomps and tambourine percussion.  This is music from later C13th and late C16th, sometimes simple melodies, sometimes embellished or harmonised by the group, sometimes boisterous and festive, sometimes sole voices with perhaps a single tonic note accompaniment.  What I loved was the clarity of a small, comfortable, practised group and the clarity and uniqueness of each voice.  Interestingly, choir was ordered with sopranos at each end, low bass and baritone in the centre and mezzo soprano and tenor between.  One performer spoke of two trios, whether the male lower and female higher, or the right baritone-tenor-soprano or left bass-mezzo-soprano, I'm not sure.  Whatever, this was a memorable display and one fully worthy of Tim's complex recording (hint: love to hear it...).  Just a stunner.

Luminescence Chamber Singers were led by Roland Peelman (conductor, percussion).  LCS comprises AJ America (mezzo soprano), Lucien Fischer (baritone), Veronica Milroy and Rachel Mink (sopranos), Alasdair Stretch (bass) and Dan Walker (tenor).

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