Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review - Duruflé Requiem with the ESO and Da Camera Singers

Da Camera Singers
The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Da Camera Singers and soloists Anita Krause, mezzo soprano, and Bonaventura Bettone, tenor were centre stage at the Winspear Centre Friday night performing with the ESO's Masters series in a program of Resphigi, Britten and Duruflé. 

Anita Krause started the evening with a rarely performed setting of the Shelley poem called "The Sunset". Il Tramento came to life with dark, rich colours with exquisite long lines of the late Romantic period.  The orchestra matched Ms. Krause's colours beautifully and the performance felt very intimate with only the ESO strings. Conductor Bill Eddins said "I really enjoyed that - " to Ms. Krause at the end of the piece and I think the audience agreed.

Bonaventura Bettone was a commanding presence in Benjamin Britten's Les Illuminations who attacked the difficult repertoire with poise and power.  The vocal acrobatics required un vrai force majeure and Mr. Bettonne lived up to Britten's demanding composition.  ESO string soloists were also wonderful in this piece lending a balance to the French tongue-twisters of the vocal line.

The Da Camera Singers came to the stage to join the ESO in a poignant performance of Duruflé's Requiem.  All requiem's send me into another world (which is perhaps the point!) and this one was no exception.  It was frustrating at points where the choir was not heard completely over the orchestra yet there were some strong moments especially in the Kyrie movement.  

My favourite section of the Da Camera Singers in this performance was the altos whose rich voices rang true in exposed parts of the piece.  I was surprised that Dr. John Brough, conductor of the Da Camera Singers didn't come out for a bow at the end of the show - John, where were you?!  You should take credit for continuing the success of this talented group.    

This Masters program continues tonight, March 26, 2011 at the Winspear Centre.  Don't forget to check out the Symphony Prelude at 7:15 pm with Lucas Waldin (resident conductor) in the Upper Circle, Third Level Lobby.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I would have LOVED to walk out on stage and take a bow, but as we were brought in late in the season to sing this concert, I had prior commitments on both Friday and Saturday night. I took the choir right through to the dress rehearsal, but had to let them fly on their own for the performances - a lot harder to do that I thought it would be!

    Glad you enjoyed the show, and the choir, thanks for the favourable review. I'm awfully fond of my alto section!

  3. Well done Dr.Brough!