Vibe Magazine: Quartet joins Scholars

Quartet joins Scholars for Performance

Scholars Pro Musica (now Scholars Baroque Aotearoa), Tauranga's premiere chamber choir, open their 2017 choral season with a work by F. J. Haydn.  The concert includes two contrasting choral works by the great Viennese classical composer and contemporary of Mozart.

"While the title of the work The Seven Last Words of Christ sounds melancholy and disconsolate, it is actually a work full of great optimism and hope," says conductor Chalium Poppy. "Some of Haydn's most glorious and beautiful choral music can be found in this little known work. Originally commissioned by the Cathedral in Cadiz, the work was actually a facourite of Haydn's. We know this as he arranffe it numerous times with very different treatments: a string quartet, a symphonic work, and finally, the choral work which the Scholars will perform," he says.

The work showcases the choral force of the Scholars; however, a quartet of soloists weaves in and out as was the standard in 18th century classical choral works. 

The Scholars are joined by a quartet of fine New Zealand soloists: alto Kate Spence, tenor Iain Tetley, and bass Tavis Gravatt, all of whom have appeared in concert as soloists with the Scholars before. For this concert, one of the Scholars' own amazing and talented singers, Regan McFarlane, sings the soprano solos. 

The second work on the programme is an exciting little Mass officially titled Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo. Over the course of time, it has come to be more affectionately and popularly referred as the Kleine Orgelmesse, or The Little Organ Mass, on account of the extensive and virtuosic organ solo in the Benedictus.

For both these works, guest organist Janet Gibbs is performing. Gibbs is a versatile performer and her concerts are regularly heard on NZ Concert FM. "For over 10 years she served as the contract organist of the NZSO and contains a vast knowledge of repertoire and interpretation. Gibbs will perform on the fantastic Johannes organ of St Peter's, Mount Maunganui - a unique, one-of-a-kind instrument in New Zealand".