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< 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.

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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