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August 7, 2008

King's Singers at The Proms

The Guardian (UK):

The late-night Prom featured the King's Singers, whose versatility and sheer musicianship have kept them at the top of the range of a cappella consorts for an amazing 40 years. The current lineup's programme contrasted French Renaissance chansons, including virtuoso accounts of Janequin's La Guerre and Passereau's Il Est Bel et Bon, with some cleverly contrived French folksong arrangements by Poulenc. John McCabe's Scenes in America Deserta, which sets texts by Reyner Banham evoking the colourful landscapes of the south-western US, provided a substantial challenge. Its vivid word setting and inventive vocal writing proved superbly atmospheric, and the group's centred performance was immaculate.

Their final sets, selections from the Victorian part-song repertoire and English folksong arrangements by Gordon Langford and two of the group's past or present members, sounded a little too eager to please, though flawlessly realised. Arthur Sullivan's close-harmony setting The Long Day Closes proved an inspired encore.

Listen to the whole concert here. Bliss!

Posted by acapnews at August 7, 2008 12:04 AM

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