Such attitudes, while valid, lose all relevance when contemplating the program the Florida International University School of Music presented on Thursday, February 15, 2007 in Wertheim Performing Arts Center, Concert Hall. It is to the great credit of Sam Spears, the conductor of the University Chorale, and John Augenblick, conductor of the Concert Choir, that the hour and a half concert presented music which was deeply moving of classic foreign music. Because foreign vocal works are by nature generally less familiar than their orchestral counterparts, it was admirable that the program sensitively incorporated several well-known works to complement the largely unfamiliar works which made up the bulk of the concert.
The precision of the ensemble snapped the audience to attention with the antiphonal setting of Psalm 114. Each verse is presented in both Sephardic (Judeo-Spanish) and Gregorian chant (Latin Schütz, the former's tortured chromatics and counterpoint is juxtaposed with the lilting homophonic voices of the latter, ending appropriately with a chorale text by Robert Ray. Here, as well as in the seamless double-choir exchanges of "Gospel Magnificat" the University Chorale and Concert Choir excelled, negotiating the intricate harmonic shifts with clarity and facility born of their experience with Baroque choral music.
My review of this concert was extra ordinary. In my opinion this was a well done performance and a well thought out theme. The theme was "Choral Contrast." Antiphonal and spatial effects, in... [continues]
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