AVÉ – Australian Vocal Ensemble: “Tumbling Like Stars”, Season One – Awaken

AVE is a Latin phrase, utilized by the Romans as a salutation and greeting. A small phrase which means “Hail – be nicely!” Now we will say Ave! to the newly launched Australian Vocal Ensemble – a small vocal group comprising 4 excellent performers: Katie Noonan (Director & Soprano), Fiona Campbell (Mezzo Soprano), Andrew Goodwin (Tenor) and Andrew O’Connor (Bass Baritone) – from Australia’s huge league of voices.

In Elisabeth Murdoch Corridor a big viewers was there to supply enthusiastic greetings for the progressive and eclectic Katie Noonan as she launched her gorgeous mission Tumbling Like Stars. True to her passionate perception within the distinctive historical past and tales of Australian tradition – previous and current – Noonan commissioned twelve composers to write down vibrant and polished musical settings for texts by acclaimed author and poet David Malouf.

For over 30 years, Stephen Leek has been a pioneering choral educator and a pacesetter in Australian composition evoking the essence and colors of the land in a whole bunch of items which are spiritually significant and entertaining for performers and audiences. Honouring his affect and choral management, his was the opening piece, Stars, a mild, timeless starting, with voices quietly buzzing, floating upwards in shut chromatic steps, and a way of everlasting cosmic power. Noonan’s highly effective voice soared upwards, excessive above the candy harmonic help, projecting the group into glowing exercise then slowly fading into an everlasting area.

The viewers was thrilled to listen to the fantastic purity, expression and instrumental magnificence of those stellar vocalists, tonight delivering and championing new, actually Australian music.

With many commissions to their credit score and each girls being recipients of a number of Artwork Music Awards, it was no shock to see composers Jessica Wells and Anne Cawrse in Noonan’s mission. An skilled and valued arranger, Wells has orchestrated over 70 movies. Her piece, In The Sea’s Giving,demonstrated delicate wordless vocal results and up to date harmonies that supported vibrant solos and a few thrilling percussive and syncopated ostinato patterns. This work required all 4 voices within the quartet to mission some very highly effective solos at full power via the auditorium. With Afterward, Cawrse, one in all Adelaide’s favorite composers, produced a lengthier work displaying most fascinating and daring structure. Extremely animated sections allowed Noonan to soar with crystal clear glissandos to an admirable peak. Extensively unfold dissonant chords required daring fortissimos and a wide range of exactly timed tonal contrasts for the entire ensemble.

Every singer relished the solo strains offered by Isaac Hurren in his work The Catch and the viewers was in a position to expertise the person color, vary and tonal high quality of every female and male voice, till melodic strains wove collectively into denser harmonic texture. Thomas Inexperienced’s Typewriter Music introduced fragmented, extremely rhythmic and accented patterns of brief crisp notes into the air, like sparks coming from nowhere, whereas his First Evening gave the singers a contrasting mix of slower chords, an air of contemplation, questioning and exploration. Suburban, by Robert Davidson, launched a jazz fashion of fairly groovy scat singing, energetic and harmonious, melodic and most congenial. The viewers significantly loved the very nice sensual choral concord and rhythmic unity of this piece. From the E book of Whispers by Alice Humphries is a solemn and fascinating work that launched daring new tonalities and colors of twilight to AVE’s program.

This live performance actually highlighted the proliferating variety of Australian composers firming their place in our fashionable historical past. Whereas celebrating up to date Australia, Noonan additionally rigorously positioned 4 vital and vibrant classical masterpieces via this system. From Renaissance composer Tomas Luis de Victoria, Heth. Misericordiae was a finely balanced Lamentation, pure and superbly nuanced. Tenor Andrew Goodwin organized Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude andHandel’s Tu del Ciel Ministro eletto in fashionable and imaginative settings, including a good looking vocalise, quasi-instrumental introduction to the latter. Every quartet member demonstrated their most interesting solo abilities in heat flowing strains, and on the conclusion there have been many sighs and murmurs of approval from the viewers.

Fantastically efficient had been the 2 concluding highlights in AVÉ’s program. Bach’s cantata Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn was first sung in German then within the indigenous Gubbi Gubbi language. This was a particular second. Containing consonants that don’t happen in English, this lovely and vibrant language gave us a novel tonal, musical and non secular expertise. Andrew Goodwin then spoke of his inspiration for the ultimate work, Peace I Depart With You, which emerged from the therapeutic course of following the lack of a member of the family alongside together with his experiences of dwelling with a pandemic. Light flowing classical harmonies mixed with a up to date construction to provide an sincere and affective repose.

Intensive applause acknowledged AVÉ’s enriching and inventive mission, which was delivered with heat, humour and a full of life connection between performers and viewers. Nevertheless, the viewers would acquire a extra full understanding of those vital new works if texts and program notes for all songs had been offered on this excellent mission.


Julie McErlain reviewed “Tumbling Like Stars”, the Season One: “Awakening” program carried out by AVÉ: Australian Vocal Ensemble, comprising Katie Noonan (Director & Soprano), Fiona Campbell (Mezzo Soprano), Andrew Goodwin (Tenor) and Andrew O’Connor (Bass Baritone), on the Melbourne Recital Centre on February 23, 2022.


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