Pro Coro Canada Garden of Bells

October 14. No pilgrimage involved this time, just sitting back to enjoy. An all a cappella concert filled with new and nearly new compositions by Canadian Composers, some commissioned by Pro Coro themselves.

The program begins with R. Murray Schafer followed by the Canadian premier of a Whittall piece then a Gonzalez and a Giacomin with Fulton just prior to the break. Rival (world premier), Ouimet Gagnon (Canadian premier) and Schafer round out the program.

A Garden of Bells. 22 soloists sound. Great tone great tuning, Echoes of bells all through the piece.

As One Listens to Rain. Balanced sound, rich harmonies, dynamics, text. Clear stops and starts. Extremely well done.

My Soul. Rich harmonies. Soulful. Harmonies that seemed to showcase individual sections.

Lovesong. A good piece, very well balanced with a solid base in the men’s chorus and soaring soprano highlights.

The Twilight Cities. Featuring sections. Sound, text and WOW great presentation.

Break – a hot cup of Chai and many interesting discussions. One of which was about Michael’s cape from the last concert, made by his mother visiting from Switzerland and finished the night before the concert. We were saying that it was a pilgrims cloak with a Liberace lining. Other comments was that this choir just keeps on getting better and better.

Saison des Semailles, le soir. Again harmonies, on top of a solid base – the balanced strength of the voices just continues to thrill. Diction, tone, quality of pitch are all just wonderful with this group.

Tryptique Nordique. Montreal in winter. It’s cold, and there are winds in the hall from the various sections that make it seem to be cold. Playful text and very well done again.

Paroles dorees. A wonderful piece.

A Garden of Bells. Reprise. This time with a switch – the choir went out into the atrium and set themselves up to be individual bells and we the audience were invited to go up and listen to the individual bells – but not to touch. It was very interesting. The RES folk among the crowd joked that we should adopt the menacing approach with Pro Coro that we used in The Path of Miracles. None of us did. It was a very different and interesting approach to the whole piece which gave us a very different interpretation to the presentation. Very well done again!!

Photo that MIchael took and posted to twitter after the concert.

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