In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic Phoenix Choir rehearsed and performed a concert under the strict Covid Safe rules of the time – one per two square metres and the audience wearing masks. Even in the very large church at Lithgow that restricted our audience so that we were sold out online and could only squeeze a few more in at the door. We are deeply sorry to those who made an unfulfilled journey to Lithgow.
The choir presented two of Vivaldi’s best known choral works in a concert celebrating the great master composer of the Italian baroque. Musical director Rowen Fox conducted the choir accompanied by the accomplished Kanimbla Quartet. These works combine dramatic choral fanfares with intricate solo movements, including duets for two soprano soloists, Sarah Arnold and Elizabeth Cooper.
Vivaldi’s Gloria is one of the most popular works in the choral repertoire, in which joyous choruses such as the opening Gloria and the uplifting Domine Fili unigenite contrast with the pained chromaticism of Et in terra pax hominibus, and the beautiful soprano solo with oboe obbligato, Domine Deus, Rex coelestis. This work pairs wonderfully with the finely wrought Magnificat to give a feast of Vivaldi’s choral music in a program which also included an instrumental work performed by the quartet with Janette Norcott as continuo.
The concert was held in the magnificent Hoskins Uniting Church in Lithgow. This iconic stone church in the gothic perpendicular style set in autumnal Sorensen gardens is an idyllic setting and fabulous accoustic for the Vivaldi, as well as being a large venue where we could practice our Covid safe plan.
Sunday 11 April 2021 at 4pm
Hoskins Uniting Church, Lithgow
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