Review of Voces Novae Concert

Review by Sheila Steinman Wallace

In one of the most cohesive and moving concerts I have heard from this community chorus, Voces Novae presented “Choral Portraits: Gerald Cohen, Eleanor Daley and Eric Whitacre” on Sunday, March 7. …

Gerald Cohen’s “Adonai Ro’i” (Psalm 23) has long been a personal favorite. The chorus and soloist Sarah Nettleton truly brought this wonderful piece to life. The beautiful melody paints pictures of quiet pastures while the accompaniment sparkles like water. …

Then back to Cohen for a “Prayer for Jerusalem,” but this represents a shift of focus. This rendering of “Hinei Mah Tov/Sha’alu Sh’lom Y’rushalayim,” while asking for peace in Jerusalem is as complex and interwoven as the situation in the Middle East.

With Cantor David Lipp, a consummate performer, as guest soloist, Voces execution was once again first-rate. …

Whitacre’s “Sleep” moved the program from war to redemption, leading into the program’s finale, three movements from Cohen’s “V’higad’ta L’Vincha.” Once again, Cantor Lipp was the featured soloist. These pieces come from the Passover Seder – “And you shall tell your child,” “This is the bread of poverty,” and “Dayeinu! It would have been enough for us!”

“Dayenu!” in particular, offered listeners a refreshing change of pace from the reflective nature of most of the rest of the program, and the chorus really seemed to enjoy it as well. It was a wonderful way to end the program, although I join CourierJournal critic Andrew Adler in saying, it was not enough; I wanted more.

If you missed the concert but want to experience some of the Voces Novae magic, including Cohen’s “Adonai Ro’i,” the chorus recently issued a CD, Recollections: Volume II, which includes 16 selections from previous concerts. It draws from both Christian and Jewish traditions and presents a wide variety of pieces with skill, enthusiasm and attention to detail. It is a wonderful addition to any collection. For information about the purchasing the CD and upcoming Voces concerts, visit their web site, www.voces-novae.org.

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