“Program books for choir concerts are typically thick with texts, translations, notes, personnel and advertisements. As I’ve observed in my more than a decade of singing in choirs, listeners at said concerts often spend the entire duration with their noses buried in these weighty tomes. Boston Choral Ensemble has wised to this phenomenon, wants to save some trees, or both. There were no notes or translations to be found in the single-sheet program for Long, Long Night, the conclusion to their 2014-2015 season; instead, texts appeared and disappeared on a projection screen next to the singers. The fortunate audience in the South End’s Holy Cross Cathedral Sunday had no choice but to look up.
The auditioned ensemble’s approximately 35 members are mostly in their 20s and 30s. Since joining as artistic director four years ago, Andrew Shenton has built programs consistently been heavy on the music of his native England, but Sunday’s was by no means monotonous. The singers confidently presented the dreamily jagged textures of John Tavener (1944-2013) and the soaring supplications of John Taverner (1490-1545). If you’re feeling confused by those names, try teleporting from Art of Europe at the MFA to the fifth floor of the ICA, and that might produce a similar effect to that of hearing Taverner and Tavener back to back.”
Read the rest at Boston Musical Intelligencer!