Clean and clear

South of North, Tampere
Harri Hautala, Aamulehti
Fredag, 13. september Link til anmeldelse - finsk

The sound of Danish Ars Nova Copenhagen is like spring water: clean and clear.

Indeed, the European Top Chorus team began the Tampere Sävel Festival with an impressive and refreshing concert at Alexander Church.

The one-hour program was suitably versatile, but also surprisingly cohesive. Although composers, countries and eras changed, the elegant sophistication of Ars Nova's sound culture passed through all the works effortlessly, as if stopping the passage of time. The choir also showed how other singers were listened to for the common good.

The beginning was as timely as the message of Julia Wolfen Guard my tongue warns against speaking bad and of bad things. The text of the little psalm tells of the alarming state of the whole modern world!

Spiritual texts often produce similar music regardless of the era. Heyr Thu os Himnum á, sung by Ars Nova from Icelandic Anna Thorvaldsdottir from 2005, sounds like an eternal prayer from centuries ago.

The English prayer of Our Father by Peter Maxwell Davies, in turn, added mysterious added value to the familiar text through surprising colors and harmonies. The bell-like end complemented the choir's phenomenal performance.

Hillier was a leader

Down-to-earth music was represented by Davies succinct Sea Runes and James MacMillan's The Gallant Weaver, whose tunes evoke Scottish folk music aroused by the magnificent unity of Ars Nova's female voices.

Ars Nova was at the core of his skills in the three motets of the Spanish Tomas Luis de Victoria. In these works of the late Renaissance, the choir reached an astonishingly rich and yet always clear tone.

Music made in the late 16th century just drifted from one voice to another within the choir under Paul Hillier's laid-back leadership. 

The big audience certainly welcomed, that Ars Nova Copenhagen closed the concert with Einojuhani Rautavaara's Lorca suite from 1972. Composed over four texts, the poetry captures the rebellious mind of the poet Federico Garcia Lorca and his surrealistically inspired poems.

How profoundly a cry ring out in one second and how the different shades of the moonlight shimmer!



Tampere Vocal Music Festival. Ars Nova Copenhagen. Director: Paul Hillier.