Reviews

Choral director Stephen Layton is contemplating the upcoming St John's Smith Square Christmas Festival from his set of rooms overlooking Great Court at Trinity College, Cambridge.  Somewhat fittingly in light of the college's illustrious mathematical history, there's a concatenation of significant birthdays and numbers to celebrate this year: the festival is 30 years old (this year's edition...
Much of choral music is directed to the heavens, inspiring if not a belief in God then certainly a contemplation of the divine. Such was an evening spent basking in the aural glow of The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge who performed at Newcastle City  Hall on Tuesday, August 2 as part of the 2016 Musica Viva International Concert Season.   The buzz before the event was understandable given the...
★★★★ It doesn’t get much better than this: one of the world’s finest choirs showcasing their considerable musical and technical gifts with immaculate performances of choral works from the Renaissance through to the 21st century in a concert hall renowned for its fine acoustics. This Thursday night concert was part of the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge’s second Australian tour for Musica Viva...
It’s the physical separation between the singers that you notice first when the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge takes to the stage, half a body width to spare on either side of all 30-plus of them. Then you hear the individual voices, which, horror of horrors to the choral-textbook devotee, stand out, each one having a sort of distinctive grain or texture to it that you could drag your fingers...
The scholar choristers of Trinity College Cambridge are the brainiest singers you’re likely to hear, and it shows in the intelligence they bring to their music. With 700 years of history, and alumni who have included Isaac Newton, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lord Byron, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, a Musica Viva concert tour by the choir under their director Stephen Layton is always going...
It was as audacious as they go. What encore could possibly follow the stunningly ecstatic final bars of Howells’ famous ‘Te Deum’ (Collegium Regale) ending a program of breath-taking vocal virtuosity covering 300 years of church music? Why, Duke Ellington’s It don’t Mean a Thing of course. The sheer exhilaration of hearing American jazz so suddenly was typical of shocks to the system delivered by...