Choir Concert Observation: The Singers, 3/29
On 29 March I observed Matt Culloton's choir at St. Mary's Basilica. I enjoyed this program very much. The six different sets each had a theme, and consequently a different feel about them. I was impressed with how the weight of the production changed between sets. In the "Illuminate" set, they performed Bach's "Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf", and Culloton elicited the perfect lightness from his choir to make it sound effortless and delicate when it needed to. In the compound-meter section of the piece, the choir manifested the beat physically, and they were all perfectly in sync. It was almost as if it was planned, but it seemed more like they were reacting to the conductor's movement.
In contrast, during the last set, which included Paulus's "Hymn to the Eternal Flame" and Gilkyson's "Requiem", the tone was much more solemn, and the production was weightier without dragging. It was an impressively grounded, expressive sound.
Overall, the elements that stood out strongest to me were the attacks and releases, which were executed perfectly in sync. The diction was remarkably clear, which is hard to accomplish in a space of that size, so it was very enjoyable to listen to. All in all, I was very impressed by Matt Culloton and The Singers.