Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Epiphany Concert in Philadelphia

The Crossing, under the direction of Donald Nally (Chorus Master of the Lyric Opera in Chicago), will present two Epiphany concerts (actually Epiphany Vespers) this coming weekend in Philadelphia, in conjunction with Pifarro, the early music ensemble. This will feature the music of composer Kile Smith. More information about the Saturday and Sunday evening concerts can be found here. I'm fairly certain--and I'll double check this--that tickets for these concerts range from 15-35 US Federal Reserve Notes, which is quite a reasonable price.

I discovered this choir only recently. A friend of mine who sings with them invited me to their Christmas concert a few weeks ago, and I will be forever grateful. Generally I do not enjoy Christmas concerts, as the programming is typically rather unimaginative. (One reviewer of a Crossing concert has called this the "season of musical redundancy.") But The Crossing is unique. They program only music from the 20th and 21st centuries. It's rare enough that performers should venture into the 20th century; it's rarer still--and highly laudable--that they should stay there for the duration of a concert. (Modern repertoire is their focus.) This brought a refreshing delight to the Christmas season.

The vocal quality of this all-professional group is naturally beautiful, un-contrived; transparent yet full-bodied. The musicianship is extraordinarily sensitive. You can take a listen for yourself here.

Come to the Epiphany Vespers this weekend to hear what real excellence is.

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