April 30, 2015
To bring Classical Month to a close, we thought we'd pop along to a show! After a bit of deliberation and checking of schedules, it was duly decided upon that the composer whose work we'd enjoy would be Vivaldi by Candlelight at St. Martin in the Fields. But was it something that lit a fire in our heart or has our candle been put out? Read on to find out!
The evening began with a number of songs from the chamber choir Voxcetera, who set the tone for the occasion by really impressing the crowd with their key changes and vocal harmonies. St Martin in the Fields is a wonderful venue, but only if the music being played or sang matches up with the surroundings. Voxcetera had absolutely no problem at all with this, their vocal ranges particularly impressing throughout their setlist, which comprised music by Poulenc, Gabriel Jackson, Arvo Part and Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium, which was our personal highlight.
In the second half of the show, Voxcetera were joined by the Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble so-called because of their commitment to only hiring musicians from areas where the Northern Lights appear most often. Before getting to the main attraction of the night - Antonio Vivaldi's sumptious orchestration Gloria, we were treated to compositions from two Icelandic composers; Sigurbjornssen's Heyr Himna Smidur and Jon Leifs' Hughreysting. Not having heard much Icelandic music away from the ethereal tones of Sigur Ros and Bjork, this was a real treat.
Before long, it was time for the main attraction. Vivaldi's Gloria. Not being too familiar with the composer away from The Four Seasons, hearing a piece in its entirety was marvellous with Domine fili unigenite being the standout. A fun and upbeat orchestration, it raised the roof of central London! The other movements were also just as good and it was a truly wonderful experience as the orchestra played the final note, the flames of the candle apparently flickering in time to Vivaldi's rhythm.
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By Felicity Heath and Henry Fosdike