FRIDAY 25 SEPTEMBER: ST JOHN'S SMITH SQUARE, LONDON
(from Robert Hugill's review - read the full article here)
The evening was opened by Sansara, a 19 voice mixed chamber choir (both men and women on the alto line). The group was formed in 2013 and the singers are all young professionals. A feature of the group is that they have no specific conductor but use different ones from the group. Their programme consisted of Wie liegt die Stadt so wust by Rudolf Mauersberger (1889-1971) conducted by Tom Herring, Gabriel Jackson's Peace My Heart (from his Requiem), conducted by Meghan Quinlan and Gombert's Lugebat David Absalom (conducted by Benjamin Cunningham).
Mauersberger was the director of music at Dresden's Kreuzkirche for over 40 years and composed Wie liegt die Stadt so wust after the bombing of Dresden, setting texts from Lamentations. It is an austere, chorale-like piece in which the choir showed lovely control and intensity bringing out the drama. They made a lovely clear bright sound, and this came out in the clarity of texture in Jackson's piece, especially the finely unsentimental performance. Again, the Gombert had great clarity with a sense of interweaving lines, and a clear feeling for the sombre tone of the work.