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November 22, 1999














Home | Headlines | Classified | Subscriptions | Online Forum | Staff

Chorale packs musical wallop

By Frank Merkling

NEWS-TIMES ARTS CRITIC

DANBURY A full house, and then some, welcomed the latest addition to this city's cultural scene, the Connecticut Master Chorale.

St. Peter Church was packed yesterday afternoon for the group's debut performance, which featured John Rutter's Magnificat (1990). a work that had its first performance in New York City, not Rutter's London.

This is worth mentioning in the light of the Magnificat's strong sense of crossover.

Influenced by Carl Orff and bearing a marked affinity for the "serious" Broadway style of Bernstein and Sondheim, the music begins in bubbly, radiant fashion and grows brassier and more percussive in spite of gentler sections in which Sue Yackel, the soloist, shone for her sweet, clear soprano.

There are catchy tunes worthy of Puccini and punchy imitative passages for the male singers. There is a bang-up ending.

The whole thing every one of its seven movements applauded yesterday was sung with pinpoint attacks and superb blending in this lofty space, thanks to conductor Tina Johns Heidrich's control.

Expert instrumental support came from organist Joseph Jacovino Jr. and a 16-piece chamber orchestra.
 


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