BACH MASS IN B MINOR ★★★½
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Town Hall, April 16
No one fairly is aware of why, in 1748-9, the Lutheran Bach drew collectively a variety of music written over the course of his profession right into a Catholic mass, the monumental Mass in B minor.
We can simply be glad that he did, for it leaves for all posterity a curated assortment of what he noticed as his best vocal compositions, chosen by the artist himself simply as his life drew to an in depth.
After a quietly reverential efficiency of Deborah Cheetham and Matthew Doyle’s Tarimi Nulay by the use of acknowledgement of County, the Sydney Philharmonia’s efficiency of the Mass below conductor Elizabeth Scott emphasised stream and continuity. Scott’s undemonstrative type averted undesirable accent or pointed emphasis, stepping again to permit the music to unfold for itself with calibrated speeds and an absence of mannerism.
There was no try and push the choir into stridency within the opening chords, and the traces of the good five-part fugue which varieties the primary Kyrie had been etched with cautious phrasing into the material of an enormous tapestry.
Partnered by violinist and concertmaster Fiona Ziegler, soprano Celeste Lazarenko was agile and clear within the solo aria Laudamus te. Anna Dowsley’s Agnus Dei on the different finish of the mass was a spotlight for the expressive color and poised sustained form of line in doleful tempo. Their duet within the Christe was animated with balanced color and sleek figuration.
Tenor Jonathan Abernethy sang with attractively open tone and recent color within the Benedictus with baroque flautist Michaela Oberg offering mellifluous arabesques of tremendous golden color.