On Sunday 2 August, the Chamber Choir provided singers to supplement the Central Coast Chorale (CCC) for a performance of Mozart’s wonderful Requiem KV626 at Gosford. This was only the latest example of cooperation between the two choirs, which have in common the musical direction of Christopher Bowen. The numerical split between the Chamber Choir and CCC was pretty well even. Grads’ contribution was felt most obviously in the tenor Section, by adding five voices to CCC’s two.
The soloists in the Requiem were Elke Hook (soprano), a Central Coast artist, and Vice-President of CCC, who has frequently sung with Grads, Catherine O’Doherty (alto), a stalwart of Grads’ Alto Section, Richard Butler (tenor), who sang the role of the Evangelist in our 2012 performance of Bach’s St. John Passion, and Daniel Macey (bass), who had sung the solo in a cooperative Chamber Choir/CC performance, of the Michael Haydn Requiem, in 2014. Catherine was obviously completely in her element among this group and sang beautifully.
The small instrumental ensemble included a number of orchestral players familiar at Grads concerts: Inge Courtney-Haentjes (violin), Robert Harris (viola), John Benz and Margaret Lindsay (cellos), John Cran (bassoon), Deborah de Graaff (clarinet), Michael Wyborn (trombone), who played the famous solo in the Tuba Mirum, and Steve Machamer (timpani).
Under Christopher’s direction, these vocal and instrumental forces delivered a crackerjack performance of Mozart’s famous work.
The first half of the concert consisted of three sacred works from Mozart’s Salzburg period: Sub Tuum Praesidium KV 198; performed by the ladies of CCC; Ergo Interest, an Quis KV143; a cantata for solo soprano; and Litaniae Lauretanae KV 109, a liturgical text performed by the Chamber Choir. Christopher believes that these works were receiving their first performances in New South Wales.
Elke Hook was the soloist in Ergo, while the soloists in Litaniae were all members of the Grads Chamber Choir: Angela Lim (soprano), Catherine O’Doherty (alto); Dominic She (tenor) and Kirk Hume (bass). Sitting in the decent audience in St. Patrick’s Church, East Gosford, I was very proud, as a member of Grads, to hear their excellent performances—and they should be very proud of themselves.
The polish and energy of the musicians, vocal and instrumental, made for a splendid concert and a most enjoyable Sunday excursion to the Central Coast.