Review / Shining show from the Luminescence Singers

Share Canberra's trusted news:
Luminescence Chamber Singers at Wesley Music Centre. Photo: Peter Hislop

Music / “Exile Lamentations”, Luminescence Chamber Singers. At  Wesley Music Centre, October 4. Reviewed by LEN POWER.

THIS concert by Luminescence Chamber Singers focused on music that expresses grief, loss and yearning for home associated with displacement. 

Works by Arvo Pärt, Thomas Tallis, Paul Stanhope, Meta Cohen and Caroline Shaw were performed.

Since 2013, Luminescence Chamber Singers have gained a reputation for fine singing and innovative programs. Generally singing unconducted and unaccompanied, they perform a wide range of repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st century.

The eight singers in this concert all have a formidable list of credits and are regularly heard in concerts in and around Canberra.

The program commenced with Arvo Pärt’s work, “By the Rivers of Babylon, Where we Sat and Wept”. The ensemble was accompanied by James Porteous on the organ. This minimalist interpretation of Psalm 137 was a good choice as a first item as it gave the singers the opportunity to show their skills individually and as a group. 

The atmosphere created by their controlled and accurate singing was very impressive.

“Lamentations of Jeremiah” by Thomas Tallis was composed in the late 16th century. The text is from the “Book of Lamentations”, ancient biblical poetry that laments the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. 

It was a good contrast to the contemporary work by Arvo Pärt and the singers gave it a fine performance with notable clarity between the individual voices.

The three parts of “Exile Lamentations” by Australian composer, Paul Stanhope, are also based on the “Book of Lamentations of Jeremiah”. This complex work was given a memorable performance by the singers. The dramatic and powerful sections of the second part, “Deserts of Exile”, were especially well sung.

Meta Cohen’s “Sim Shalom”, followed. This Jewish prayer for peace, sung by the male voices only, has beautiful introspective passages that were sung with great sensitivity by the singers. 

The last work, “And the Swallow” by America’s Caroline Shaw, continued the theme of the hope for peace and was the perfect finale to yet another fine concert by the Luminescence Singers.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleCartoon / Dose of Dorin
Next articleLetters / West Basin spin confuses public consultation

Leave a Reply