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Today's Fredlines

< Choral Summit, day 4 | Main | Mozart, with bite >



Choral Summit -- saying farewell

Posted at 8:16 AM on July 25, 2008 by Fred Child

All week, Brian Newhouse has been reporting from the World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen. And I hope you're checking out the audio that's in each of his blog entries this week -- absolutely stunning highlights Brian's been sending back from this week's concerts. Click on his links that mention music, then close your eyes and enjoy.

Here's Brian's last report from Copenhagen.
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This is bittersweet. People have come here to the World Choral Symposium hoping for a big surprise, a discovery they'll remember long after it ends this weekend. They found it. It's a choir from the west coast of Norway called Voci Nobili. vocinobili1.jpg

And it's about to disappear.

These two dozen college-aged women are led by Maria Helbekkmo, the conductor whom most everyone here agrees walks on water. The Opera House was packed and pin-drop quiet for their concert earlier this week, because the buzz had gone 'round that this was Helbekkmo's last gig before she retires.

She's made a choir that can do virtually anything. Their specialties are the crunchiest avant-garde atonal music; old fjord tunes done so raw your earlobes feel frostbit; and the American songbook.

So, with a choir who can sing anything, what's the last thing she wanted to conduct? Helbekkmo stunned the audience with a drop-dead gorgeous version of Rodgers' & Hart's "My Funny Valentine." We featured it on Performance Today, and if that's your intro to the group, welcome to the grieving club!

But here, these may help. A couple of Web exclusives recorded live in Copenhagen Monday afternoon, July 21:

1.) JACOB LORENTZEN (b. 1968): "L'enfant mourant" (World Premiere)
2.) HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695): "Music for a While" arr. Gunnar Erikson


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