Messe de Minuit
Metropolis Recital Corridor. December 5
This was a efficiency of delicate grace that was lovely in its readability and ease, and stylistically subtle however with out affectation.
Pinchgut Opera had aimed to carry us Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s dramaMedee to a libretto by Corneille this yr, an operatic model of the excessive neo-classicism of the French baroque. This charming Midnight Mass for Christmas, supplied as pandemic comfort, finds Charpentier in an altogether totally different temper, incorporating engagingly tuneful carols of haunting melancholy and quiet pleasure.
A lot of the carols could be unfamiliar to right this moment’s audiences. The opening Kyrie, primarily based on the carol Joseph est bien marie, units the tone with phrases of mild folk-like periodicity. Within the Credo comes a pleasant minor key carol of charming solemnity rather than the drama and depth that composers use for the Crucifixus.
Sopranos Chloe Lankshear and Anna Fraser sang along with balanced complementary timbres, Lankshear brilliant and clear, Fraser wealthy and thrilling. In trios for the three male voices, tenor Nicholas Jones sang with clean attractiveness and Eric Peterson with unforced lightness, whereas baritone David Greco underscored the feel with impressively well-defined tonal edge.
Conductor and music director Erin Helyard allowed pure form to blossom with out exaggeration, whereas tossing off an intricate set of variations on the chamber organ between actions of the Kyrie. In a uncommon cameo, bassoonist Simon Rickard on baroque musette, a bagpipe-like instrument, and baroque flautist Melissa Farrow performed an unassuming set of Noels by Esprit Phillipe Chedeville with textures of quiet tonal delicacy.
That is the primary live performance for the reason that pandemic that I’ve attended that allowed wind gamers and singers again onto the stage. Cautious of the capability of any completed performer to spray way more than the statutory 1.5 metres, the primary rows of seats have been eliminated and music and stands have been fastidiously cleansed though Rickard’s musette is inflated with bellows moderately than the mouth. Nonetheless, given latest analysis on the lurgies in bagpipes one cannot be too cautious.