(photo credit: Courtesy)
The main hero in the Barrocada’s program this week was the Shahar Choir,
conducted by Gila Brill. Though small, this choir produces a full, rich
sound with soft, relaxed, never strained or shouting voices. Articulation
is clear-cut, creating impressive contrasts, subtle dynamic nuances and
meticulous transparency, even in intricate contrapuntal textures.
Tomkins’ “When David heard that Absalom was slain” sounded like a moving lament,
yet without sentimentality – a veritable case of British musical understatement.
Handel’s rarely performed Chandos Anthems were a real musical offering for the
by Salomone Rossi, an Italian Jewish Late
Renaissance composer of Psalms and Prayers to Hebrew texts, Yeela Avital’s pure,
clear soprano proved that the female voice can indeed sing the glory of God, and
evoke religious sentiments even in secular listeners. Tarquinio Merula’s Cantate
Jubilate provided her with a welcome chance to display well-polished
coloraturas, heralding the coming of opera. Lior Aharony’s tenor blended in
appealingly with the soprano in Handel’s duet passages.
The Barrocada, a
small ensemble of period instruments, produces a well-consolidated, intimate
sound such as presumably may have been heard in the salons of the Baroque