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Australia Tour - Hobart Mercury, Australia



Trinity College Choir began its first tour of Australia in Hobart. The program order emphasized harmonic and structural similarities of works from renaissance era (mainly English) to present day (Baltic States, English and American).

So, Arvo Part's translucent Bogoroditse Djevo led directly to Tavener's breathtaking Mother of God, here I stand.  Latvian Ugis Praulins gives fugal setting to Latin text in Gloria from Missa Rigensis as did Byrd 400 years ago in Civitas sancti tui.

Stephen Layton gave informative descriptions, but they would be better before each song. Each work featured precise attack, exact chording and attention to phrasing and diction.

Sandstrom's arrangement of Purcell's Hear My Prayer stealthily replaces serenity with dread, convincingly realised by each vocal part. Paul Stanhope's Deserts of Exile had an inescapably Australian tinge despite its Middle Eastern setting. Layers of beauty and joy permeated Stanford's Three Latin Motets op 38 and Lauridsen's Nocturnes.

Overall the choir's strength and unity belied their youth. The encore, a jazzy Joshua fit the battle of Jericho allowed them to lighten up.

Elizabeth Ruthven

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